SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – When Caddo District Court Judge Chris Victory granted motions to acquit each of the four Shreveport police officers charged in the in-custody death of Tommie McGlothen, Jr. Friday morning, McGlothen’s family sat in stunned silence.
Treona McCarter, Brian Ross, D’Marea Johnson, and James LeClare, were charged with malfeasance in office and negligent homicide. Their acquittals came after a four-day trial in which prosecutors struggled to make their case that the officers showed a reckless disregard for McGlothen’s life and that their actions that day in combination with his psychotic mental state and their failure to get him medical attention led to his death.
“All I can say is we are very disappointed,” McGlothen’s son, Tommie McGlothen III, said in a brief news conference after the ruling. “For our justice system, for officers to be able to let a man die, unresponsive in the back of the police car, and walk away free, and not being disciplined for it. I just feel like it just set the bar higher for more corruption here in Shreveport.”
“I am heartbroken by this decision,” said LaQuita McGlothen, Tommy Jr’s sister, who called the police earlier on the day her brother died in an attempt to get help getting him involuntarily committed.
“I’m very disappointed by this decision, because, for me, not only have I lost my brother, but I’ve lost my sense of community. Those that are placed in a position to serve and protect, I no longer have trust in them at all.”
The attorney for the McGlothen family says they plan to move forward with a wrongful death suit filed by the McGlothen family in March of 2021. That suit, seeking $25 million from the City of Shreveport, is still winding its way through federal court.
“We are not giving up. We demand justice, and we are deeply disappointed and the family is obviously hurt and disappointed,” family attorney James Carter said. “We continue our pursuit for justice in this matter. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. The entire community in northern Louisiana, in the nation, should be concerned that you can have a situation where a woman comes forth with overwhelming evidence of the abuse and the ultimate death of a mentally disabled person, whose family was simply seeking help and ended up in his untimely death.”
Prosectutors declined to comment on the officers’ acquittals Friday morning.