Expert on police practice, procedure takes stand on day 4 of McGlothen’s in-custody death trial

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 1:39 PM CDT

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The fourth day of testimony is underway in the trial of four Shreveport police officers charged in the death of Tommie McGlothen Jr.

Today, June 16, the court is hearing key testimony from Ken Katsaris, the prosecution’s expert on police practice and procedure.

Early in the case, evidence showed SPD encountered McGlothen three times the day he died. Katsaris told the court this morning that in his opinion, officers failed to follow SPD policy and should have taken McGlothen into custody the first two times they encountered him.

Katsaris said officers should have involuntarily committed McGlothen as his family requested, due to him making threats to his father and saying “he wasn’t afraid to die.” Katsaris also told the court that police should have arrested McGlothen during the second encounter because he committed a felony by unlawfully getting into another person’s car, and he failed to give officers proper identification when detained.

Katsaris testified if SPD officers, including three of the four now on trial, followed SPD policy during those two encounters, the deadly third encounter would not have happened.

At this time, Katsaris has testified for more than five and a half hours.

Detective Rod Johnson, a criminal investigator with the Louisiana State Police, later took the stand. Johnson testified that Louisiana State Police was asked by SPD to review the case and offer suggestions for further investigation two months after the fatal incident.

LSP suggested investigators re-canvas the neighborhood where McGlothen died and suggested warrants for medical records get served at Willis-Knighton and LSU hospitals. On cross examination, Johnson told the court he did not recommend criminal charges in the case.

Prosecutors are expected to rest their case later this afternoon. At that time, defense attorneys are expected to ask the court to dismiss all charges in the case. If that motion is denied - the officers’ lawyers will begin presenting their defense immediately, with testimony likely flowing over into the weekend.

Copyright 2022 KSLA. All rights reserved.