SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - On April 5, Tommie McGlothen Jr., a 44-year-old black man, died while allegedly in the custody of Shreveport police, according to the Caddo Parish district attorney.
At the time, SPD didn’t report McGlothen’s death publicly and 54 days passed before the district attorney’s office received an investigative file from police with D.A. James Stewart saying that file is “missing reports, statements, downloads and other vital information essential to conduct a thorough and complete review.”
The district attorney is now asking citizens with video of the incident and eyewitnesses to come forward in the case. But none has until now.
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- RELATED: Attorney for McGlothen family issues statement; will address media June 10
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Four witnesses spoke exclusively to Chief Investigator Stacey Cameron describing the final minutes of McGlothen’s life and allowed him to use his camera to record cellphone video of McGlothen’s violent encounter with police.
The first frames of the grainy video show Shreveport police wrestling Tommie McGlothen to the ground under a carport on Eilleen Lane.
A few seconds into the nearly 4.5-minute clip come the first blows.
A white male officer hits McGlothen as a black female cop tries holding him down.
The video that KSLA Investigates recorded with a small camera off a cellphone gets shaky next showing the female officer rolling over and getting up, when the male cop kicks McGlothen.
At this point it’s difficult to see on the wobbly video but when officers try rolling the 44-year-old man over to handcuff him, McGlothen appears to stiffen up.
That’s when the male cop, now standing over McGlothen, punches him four times.
McGlothen is then heard screaming out as witnesses say police began tasing him behind a parked car.
Stacey spoke with four people witnessing the incident, each seeing McGlothen walking up and down the street minutes earlier saying he looked “thrown off in his head and not acting mentally right.”
The witnesses say cops got called after McGlothen got into a fight and beat up by another man living on Eileen Lane.
Just before the three-minute mark with three cops now holding McGlothen down, a fourth officer runs into the picture with witnesses saying – and video appearing to show – that white male cop punching McGlothen before another officer tases him at least three more times.
The blurry video then captures an officer rise up and hit McGlothen with a baton before the same cop turns to strike four more blows to McGlothen’s legs.
As the handheld video shakes, McGlothen is handcuffed and stood up.
That’s when witnesses say – and video seems to show – an officer shoving him to the ground.
Fifteen seconds later, back on his feet, officers walk McGlothen to a squad car.
His face appeared to slam against the hood.
What happens next is hard to see on the video; but four witnesses and a police source tell KSLA that McGlothen spit in the black female officer’s face and, in return, she punched McGlothen twice in the face.
According to the witnesses Stacey spoke to, McGlothen then fell behind a police car; his head hitting the pavement.
In the last seconds of the video, a white male cop is seen picking McGlothen up.
Witnesses say the officer put him in the back of a cop car, where McGlothen got quiet.
Minutes later, according to the witnesses, McGlothen looked slumped over and unconscious.
Now there is a second video, which Stacey watched but was not allowed to record.
It shows an ambulance getting on scene.
But according to three witnesses and the cellphone video, by then it was dark.
Witnesses say they fear McGlothen was already dead because, according to them, the ambulance drove off slowly with no lights or siren.
A police spokesperson told Stacey that all the officers involved were still on the job. No one had been placed on administrative leave, but the matter is under investigation.
Police Chief Ben Raymond has since issued a statement June 8 in which he says four officers are on departmental leave.
That statement, which also says Louisiana State Police is reviewing the case, was released after KSLA reached out to the Shreveport Police Department and the District Attorney’s office for comment.
Both agencies initially declined to comment, saying the matter is still an ongoing investigation.