Two years after pummeling a Black motorist named Aaron Larry Bowman with a flashlight, former Louisiana State Trooper Jacob Brown has been charged with a civil rights violation. Shortly after learning of Brown's indictment, Bowman's attorney, Donecia Banks-Miley, breathed a "sigh of relief."
“We’re just trying to remain hopeful and trust the process of justice,” Banks-Miley told the Associated Press.
“Aaron is extremely happy and he just wants full justice.”
The incident in question took place in May 2019. Video obtained by the Associated Press shows Bowman calling out for help as Brown struck him repeatedly. Further medical examination revealed that Bowman suffered a broken jaw, three broken ribs, a broken wrist and a gash to his head during the encounter.
“I’m not resisting! I’m not resisting," Bowman shouted as he pleaded with Brown to stop.
Brown attempted to defend his actions by labeling the incident as "pain compliance." However, state officials disagree.
“[Brown] engaged in excessive and unjustifiable actions and failed to report the use of force to his supervisors," a spokesperson for the Louisiana State Police told the AP.
***The video below contains violent and graphic images***
Unfortunately, the abuse that Bowman suffered at the hands of a state police officer is not uncommon. Nearly 20 miles away, a Black motorist by the name of Ronald Greene was pronounced dead following a traffic stop in 2019. As reported by the Associated Press, both Greene and Bowman's assaults are examples of the 12 instances in which police officials overlooked, ignored or attempted to discard evidence of police beating unarmed motorists. After these cases were brought to light, Louisiana officials opened investigations regarding allegations of abuse.
“The department has previously acknowledged that it has open and ongoing criminal investigations into incidents involving the Louisiana State Police that resulted in death or bodily injury to arrestees,” the U.S. Department of Justice told the Associated Press.
“Those investigations remain ongoing.”
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
For more mental health resources, click HERE.