“Give me your f—— hands!” the trooper shouted. “I ain’t messing with you.”
When Bowman tried to explain several times that he was a dialysis patient, had done nothing wrong, and was not resisting, the trooper responded with “Shut the f—- up!” and “You ain’t listening.”
In the horrific video footage, Bowman can be heard moaning on the ground, expressing that he was bleeding. “They hit me in the head with a flashlight!”
As a result of the beating, Bowman was left with a broken jaw, three broken ribs, a broken wrist, and a gash to his head that required six staples to close, said a lawyer who is representing Bowman in a civil rights lawsuit filed last year in Louisiana against the state police.
Despite clearly being the victim in the incident, after the attack, Bowman was charged with resisting a police officer with force or violence, battery of a police officer, flight from an officer, and improper lane use. Bowman, who is not seen as violent in the footage, denied hitting anyone and has pleaded not guilty to all charges. To make matters worse, the trooper who attacked Bowman defended the attack as “pain compliance” in order to put Bowman in handcuffs.
The incident follows the death of another Black motorist at the hands of the same agency less than three weeks earlier. In that incident, body camera footage depicted troopers dragging, beating, and shocking a man identified as Ronald Greene outside of Monroe—the town in which Bowman lives. Video evidence of Greene’s death also remained under wraps before AP obtained and published it earlier this year.
Investigations into both incidents are ongoing. In Bowman’s case, his attack wasn’t investigated until 536 days after it occurred. Despite the incident being captured on body camera footage, investigations opened only after Bowman brought a civil lawsuit. Investigators who reviewed Bowman’s video months after the incident determined the use of force was not reasonable or necessary.
“The video speaks for itself,” said Keith Whiddon, Bowman’s defense attorney. “My reaction is similar to anyone else who would see this — it’s disheartening.”
Bowman’s attorney was allegedly first told no body camera footage existed in the case, as the white trooper not only failed to report his use of force but mislabeled his footage as a “citizen encounter.” Investigators called the act “an intentional attempt to hide the video from any administrative review.”
According to AP, Bowman himself hadn’t seen the footage until recently, when prosecutors from the U.S. Justice Department showed it to him and his civil attorney.
“I kept thinking I was going to die that night,” Bowman told AP. “It was like reliving it all over again. By watching it, I broke down all over again … I don’t want nobody to go through that.”
But while the trooper identified as Jacob Brown walked free after the incident, in February he was arrested on charges of aggravated second-degree battery and malfeasance in office in connection with the assault, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. However, Brown’s violence was not isolated to this incident two years ago. The white officer, who resigned in March, now faces criminal charges in two unrelated excessive force cases, The New York Times reported.
In one of the cases, Brown allegedly boasted about the violence he perpetuated in a group chat with other troopers, saying: “He gonna be sore tomorrow for sure.” He added: “LMAO … warms my heart knowing we could educate that young man.”
While the AP did not confirm how it had gotten the body camera footage, it cited state police records that showed Brown had been involved in 23 instances that involved the use of force beginning in 2015. All of them targeted Black people.