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Louisiana officer charged, accused of using excessive force

November 1, 2021 GMT

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) — A Louisiana police officer has been arrested and placed on administrative leave after an investigation found that he used more force than necessary during an arrest.

The Courier newspaper quotes authorities as saying that Thibodaux police officer Paul Thibodeaux is charged with malfeasance in office, injuring public records and second-degree battery. Police said Thibodeaux, 38, violated departmental policy and state law during an arrest on Aug. 27.

A warrant for his arrest was issued after an internal investigation. He was arrested Friday and booked into the Lafourche Parish jail, where he posted $30,000 bail, the newspaper reported.

A working phone number for Thibodeaux could not be immediately found Monday, and it wasn’t clear whether he had an attorney who could comment on the charges.

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“An arrest was being performed on a subject for remaining after being forbidden, disturbing the peace and resisting an officer,” Thibodaux Police Lt. Clint Dempster said. “Through investigation the officer was found to have used more force than what was necessary to execute the arrest.”

The newspaper report did not include details of the alleged excessive force.

Thibodeaux will be on administrative leave without pay pending a hearing in which he will be informed of the charges and allowed to respond, Police Chief Bryan Zeringue told the newspaper.

“This is not just a violation of the law and agency policy, but a violation of the community trust,” Zeringue said.