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A federal grand jury in Shreveport, Louisiana, has returned a three-count indictment charging former DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office (DPSO) Correctional Officer Javarrea Pouncy with federal civil rights violations for willfully using unreasonable force against a detainee, failing to obtain medical care for the detainee and obstructing justice.

According to the indictment, on September 27, 2019, Pouncy, acting in his official capacity as a DPSO correctional officer, used unreasonable force against a detainee by repeatedly striking him in the head and body without legal justification while the detainee was being booked into the DeSoto Parish jail. The indictment further alleges that the assault caused bodily injury to the detainee. In addition, the indictment alleges that Pouncy knew that the detainee had serious medical needs and willfully failed to obtain necessary medical care for him.

The indictment also charges Pouncy with obstruction of justice for knowingly falsifying and making a false entry in a DPSO report with the intent to impede, obstruct and influence an investigation into the assault. Count one of the indictment charges Pouncy for his unreasonable use of force; count two charges Pouncy for his failure to obtain medical care; and count three charges him with filing the false report.

If convicted, Pouncy faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison each for counts one and two, and 20 years in prison for count three.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Brandon Brown for the Western District of Louisiana and Special Agent in Charge Douglas A. Williams Jr. of the FBI New Orleans Field Office made the announcement. The FBI New Orleans Field Office is investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Reeg for the Western District of Louisiana and Trial Attorney Erin Monju of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section are prosecuting the case.

We need to remind you that an indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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