Videos raise questions whether DeSoto Parish deputies used excessive force

KSLA Investigates police transparency
KSLA Investigates police transparency
Updated: Jul. 30, 2020 at 8:09 PM CDT
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Dash cam, body cam videos obtained exclusively by KSLA News 12 raise questions about alleged excessive use of force by DeSoto sheriff's deputies.

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - A series of police videos, obtained exclusively by KSLA, are raising concerns of possible excessive use of force by two deputies and a former deputy jailer with the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Department.

Two of the videos show Deputy Jason Allgrunn, who was indicted for malfeasance in office in August 2019 and placed on paid administrative leave.

The first video is dash camera footage from Allgrunn’s vehicle, recorded in October 2018. It shows Deputy Allgrunn following a red P.T. Cruiser after the vehicle allegedly struck a metal pole at a gas station. When the car stops at a Family Dollar store, a man named Tony Fuller and two passengers exit the vehicle. Then Allgrunn starts questioning Fuller.

When the deputy learns Fuller wasn’t driving at the time of the accident, Allgrun tells him to go get the car’s teenage driver inside the store. Fuller is heard in the video telling the deputy no, that he’s going into the store to shop and the deputy can either talk to her then or go into the store and get her himself.

In the recording, Allgrunn tells Fuller, “You’re going to do what I say. Go get ‘em.”

When Fuller turns to walk away, the deputy charges him from behind, punches Fuller in the face and forcefully wrestles him to the ground. The deputy yells at Fuller, saying “You’re resisting, you’re resisting.” Fuller can be heard replying, “I’m not doing nothing.”

In an interview with KSLA Chief Investigative Reporter Stacey Cameron, Fuller recalled the incident saying “Soon as he got me on the ground, he tried to hold my head and scrub it against the cement, and that’s when I got mad.”

Deputy Allgrunn is then seen on the video punching Fuller again, telling the young man to put his hands behind his back. Fuller says, “Yes sir, yes sir.” But then Allgrunn is heard telling Fuller twice, “I’m going to [EXPLETIVE] you up.”

Fuller was arrested for resisting, but those charges were dropped by DeSoto Parish District Attorney Gary Evans. Fuller tells KSLA he recently hired an attorney and plans to sue Allgrunn, Sheriff Jayson Richardson and DPSO.

The second video involving Allgrunn, shows the deputy responding to a 9-1-1 call asking for medical help back in August of 2019. A man named Curtis Terrell had taken prescription pills with alcohol, and his wife called for an ambulance.

Allgrunn’s dash camera once again captures the episode in which Terrell and his wife can be seen standing on a small road outside their home when Allgrunn arrives on the scene. The Deputy immediately asks Terrell if he’s okay. Terrell says yes then turns to walk away after telling the deputy his wife is lying about him.

Allgrun follows Terrell, and begins to confront him, telling the man to “get over here” before threatening to arrest him. The deputy then tells Terrell to go to the front of his police vehicle. When Terrell asks why, Allgrunn says “Because I said.”

Terrell is seen complying with the deputy’s order, but Allgrunn walks quickly behind Terrell saying, “Do you think I’m playing with you?”

Dash-cam video shows him talking on his cell phone as he gets to the front of the deputy’s car. Then the incident suddenly escalates as Fuller says, “I ain’t done nothing wrong,” and throws his hands in the air. Allgrunn tells Fuller to put his hands behind his back, and when Fuller starts to say something, the deputy tackles the man from behind and a struggle ensues on the ground.

Later in the video, Terrell is seen getting helped off the ground by EMS with a bloody face. Terrell was also arrested for resisting, and now he too is preparing to sue DPSO, Allgrunn and Sheriff Richardson.

Speaking with KSLA about the deputy, Terrell said, “I don’t know what he was doing. I ain’t never seen a cop try to arrest somebody like that.”

Terrell’s attorney, Howard Conday, says this is a clear case of excessive use of force.

“This seems to be some type of a pattern, with this officer and this sheriff’s department,” Conday said. “This deputy has no business being in law enforcement. He not only puts the public of DeSoto Parish at risk, but his actions also put his fellow deputies safety at risk.”

Richardson, who was sworn in as DeSoto Parish Sheriff two years ago declined to be interviewed for this story.

However, Michael Tabman, a former FBI Special Agent in Charge, spoke with KSLA after watching the Allgrunn videos.

“This was not de-escalation,” Tabman said. “This was provocation by the police officer.”

Tabman also watched two more videos showing use of force from DPSO. The first being dash-cam video, recorded in March 2019, showing deputies responding to a fight at a car wash.

Describing the video, Tabman explains that “the officers go to break it up (the fight) and they do it properly. You can see the rest of the crowd is helping, trying to keep the guys from going back at each other.”

In the video, you see Deputy William Bates, the officer closest to the camera, bringing one suspect back towards his vehicle. Tabman explains the suspect is cooperating with his hands at this side, when suddenly the deputy grabs the man’s ponytail and yanks him to the ground.

In Tabman’s opinion, the move was “overly aggressive” and excessive.

“He doesn’t seem to be doing anything aggressive that would warrant being taken down like that,” Tabman told KSLA.

The final incident took place in September 2019.

The video shows a man sources identify as Deputy Jailer Javaerrea Pouncy returning the suspect back to the Trooper in a small office, where the Trooper plans to question the person. The suspect, Jarrius Brown, was arrested for unauthorized use of a stolen vehicle and is seen being escorted into the room by Deputy Pouncy in an orange jail jumpsuit.

As soon as Brown turns toward the Trooper, a line of blood and saliva is seen drooling from his mouth. The Trooper is heard asking on the video, “What happened to him? He resisted?” Pouncy nods yes.

In the video, Brown’s left eye appears swollen shut, and his face looks bruised and beaten. Close to slipping out of consciousness, the man struggles to answer the trooper’s questions.

Eventually, Brown is heard asking the trooper for medical help.

“This is certainly the kind of incident you want your chain of command to know about,” Tabman said. Maybe he did resist, but we need to see evidence of that.”

Tabman told KSLA he believes both Louisiana State Police and DPSO need to conduct internal reviews of this incident and that a criminal investigation should be launched as well.

“When we see a pattern of excessive force, we see a culture that needs to be changed, because that is sort of encouraging and endorsing that type of conduct,” Tabman said.

While investigating these incidents, KSLA filed public records requests, in order to learn if the deputies involved are still working for DPSO.

According to the records request, Deputy Allgrunn was placed on paid administrative leave last August, but only after the D.A. indicted him.

Deputy Bates is still on the force and there is no public record of any internal investigation by the Sheriff’s office over his use of force.

Deputy Jailer Pouncy is no longer with DPSO, having resigned according to the Sheriff’s Office.

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