Jury awards $185K to teen who accused deputy of threatening him while filming mom’s arrest

Francis Akhalbey May 10, 2024
De’Shaun Johnson was awarded $185,000 after he accused a deputy of threatening him -- Images via Law & Crime

A New Orleans federal jury awarded $185,000 to a teenager who accused a sheriff’s deputy of threatening him while he filmed his mother’s forceful arrest in 2020. Per The Associated Press, Deputy Ryan Moring and his colleagues had gone to De’Shaun Johnson’s family home in St. Tammany Parish when the incident occurred.

Johnson was 14 at the time, and his mother Teliah Perkins’ arrest stemmed from allegations that she did not wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. The deputies went to their family home to question Perkins about the said allegations, but her attorneys said the charge that was later brought against her wasn’t prosecuted as it did not hold any water. 

The encounter was captured on video and it showed Perkins being tackled to the ground. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Reid Collins & Tsai law firm ultimately filed the lawsuit against the deputies. The lawsuit was also filed under the ACLU’s Justice Lab project, an initiative aimed at tackling police abuse allegations.

Several of the allegations brought against the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office in the lawsuit were, however, dismissed by a federal appeals court. This largely narrowed the allegations of the deputies’ use of force. A green light was, however, given for litigation over claims that a deputy interfered when Johnson was filming his mother’s arrest with his phone, The Associated Press reported. The ACLU claimed that when the teen started filming the arrest, a deputy stood in front of him and threatened the then 14-year-old with a Taser.

The jury on May 1 awarded Johnson the $185,000 after it determined that the deputy’s behavior caused “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” “We are thrilled to see justice served for De’Shaun,” Nora Ahmed, the ACLU of Louisiana’s legal director, said in response to the verdict.

“What happened to Ms. Perkins and her son was inexcusable, and as we face imminent threats to our rights to observe police in Louisiana, it is heartening that a jury of this officer’s peers chose to hold him accountable for his misconduct.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 10, 2024


Must Read

Connect with us

Join our Mailing List to Receive Updates