KSLA discovers dash cam video that gives clearer picture of what happened to Tommie McGlothen, Jr.

Dash cam footage from the night Tommie McGlothen Jr. died.
Dash cam footage from the night Tommie McGlothen Jr. died.(Shreveport Police Department Dash Cam)
Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 5:37 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 29, 2021 at 6:19 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - For the past 18 months, KSLA has shown you cell phone video obtained from a witness on the night Tommie McGlothen, Jr. died. Witness accounts and video show McGlothen had a violent encounter with police on April 5, 2020.

KSLA News 12 has discovered dash cam footage from the four police officer’s cars from that night. They provide a clearer picture of McGlothen and what lead up to the four officers being indicted on negligent homicide and malfeasance charges.

“I got to look at 48 minutes of him sitting in the back of a police car several times, of minutes trying to breathe and he was in obvious stress,” said Caddo Coroner Dr. Todd Thoma in an interview with KSLA News 12′s Domonique Benn, the same day KSLA News 12 revealed the cell phone video in June of 2020.

The cell phone footage obtained by KSLA is the only account the public has seen, showing what happened to McGlothen. An eyewitness gave video to KSLA of McGlothen trying to wrestle free of police and getting tased at least once, before an officer appears to upper cut him.

Another officer repeatedly hit McGlothen with a baton on the legs while he was held face down. Less than 30 seconds after that, McGlothen, clearly handcuffed, stood up before a male officer shoves him hard to the ground. Finally, an officer is walking him to a squad car when McGlothen’s face appears to slam off the hood.

Officers say he spit on a female officer. The dash cam footage picks up what the cell phone could not capture: a limp McGlothen being dragged and dumped head first into the back of the patrol car.

Almost two months passed before McGlothen’s death came to light. Former Chief Ben Raymond didn’t place any officers on administrative leave until the day KSLA released the cell phone video of the final moments of McGlothen’s life.

During that same time period, Councilwoman LeVette Fuller emailed Raymond and requested a full account of what happened. The former chief said officers were able to force McGlothen into the back of a patrol unit as he continued to resist.

KSLA has also learned that earlier in the day, this officer responded to call from concerned family about how McGlothen was acting. In fact, McGlothen had at least two encounters with police that day, before his violent encounter with police that evening.

Dash cam video shows him there in a dark shirt, blue jeans and a red turban escorted by officers. Family members called officers to try and get McGlothen committed. They told the officer he was a paranoid schizophrenic and had been off of his medication for a couple of months.

The officer who responded that day said, “Given the situation right now may not really fit our criteria where we can commit him yet. If he gets worse in any way give us a call. If it’s getting really bad or anything like that we got no problem coming out here even if he just starts acting out bad and we need to come out here and calm him down, I don’t personally have a problem coming down and helping out on that.”

Hours later, McGlothen, or “Dale Bay” as he liked to be called, was in the back of another patrol car after that violent encounter.

Firefighters were called to check him out. It was 8:05 p.m. when he was taken out of the car, and in the video you can hear emergency crews saying they don’t even see anything to patch up. Their assessment took 78 seconds, and by 8:06 p.m. they were putting him back into the car. They then checked on him briefly before officers put him back in the patrol car.

By 8:35 p.m., officers checked on him again, but McGlothen was unresponsive.

From the initial time he was put in the car at 7:47 p.m., he went 48 minutes with no medical care. McGlothen died at the hospital.

Officers Brian Ross, James LeClare, Treona McCarter, and D’Marea Johnson have pleaded not guilty. They were indicted on negligent homicide and malfeasance charges. The criminal trial is set for Dec. 13.

The family of McGlothen has filed a civil lawsuit. That trial date in federal court has not been set.

We have reached out to the mayor’s office for comment. They told KSLA News 12 that they can’t comment because of pending litigation. The Shreveport Police Department says Substitute Police Chief Wayne Smith plans to make a statement after the video airs.

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