SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The Caddo Parish Grand Jury has returned indictments against four Shreveport police officers in connection with the April 5, 2020 death of Tommie Dale McGlothen Jr.
Treona McCarter, Brian Ross, D’Marea Johnson and James LeClare are being charged with negligent homicide and malfeasance in the death of 44 year-old McGlothen.
The incident occurred after McGlothen, who suffered from a known mental condition, died in the hospital shortly after being detained and arrested by the four officers.
Upon review by Caddo Parish Coroner Dr. Todd Thoma, it was determined that McGlothen’s death could have been preventable in that responding officers should have been aware of the fact that McGlothen needed medical attention.
Officers had been notified of McGlothen’s mental condition during the first of three encounters they had with him within a short time span. McGlothen showed signs he was a mental patient in need of medical treatment.
Dr. Thoma also noted that McGlothen was not a candidate for incarceration given his medical status. This fact, as well as his unsupervised detention in the back of a police cruiser without medical treatment and the use of excessive force in detaining him were found to be major factors that led to his death.
The coroner’s review led to a grand jury investigation that was initially delayed due to the necessity of obtaining all the evidence related to the three encounters McGlothen had with SPD that day, McGlothen’s medical records, as well as a review by experts in the fields of forensic pathology and use of force by police.
It was eventually determined that McGlothen’s death was caused by a combination of excited delirium, physical force used by the officers and a delay in medical attention.
SPD officers used excessive force in violation of SPD Taser policy; used excessive use of physical force that was injurious to McGlothen when it was unnecessary; failed to call for medical assistance; and placed McGlothen in the patrol cruiser on his head, limiting his ability to breathe. Finally, the officers failed to transport McGlothen to the hospital or call for paramedics for transportation to the hospital for care and treatment.
Officials determined the SPD officers' violations of use-of-force policy and protective-custody policy demonstrated a reckless disregard for a known risk of harm to McGlothen. These violations resulted in the indictments for negligent homicide and malfeasance in office.
The four indicted officers were notified they were subjects of the Grand Jury investigation and were given the opportunity to testify. Each chose to testify and three were represented by counsel.
If convicted, each of the officers faces up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000 on each count.
“We have cooperated with the District Attorney’s Office throughout the McGlothen investigation. Now that the Grand Jury’s decision is out, we will allow the legal process to run its proper course. We have adopted additional policies related to excessive use of force to prevent incidents like this from occurring in the future. The McGlothen family remains in our thoughts and prayers," said Mayor Adrian Perkins, in a news release.