A father and his son decided to take a stand against the police brutality that occurs throughout the state of Louisiana only to find that they were still being subjected to racial discrimination when a man was struck from the jury based on his race.
It was 2015 when Lyle Dotson, who was 18-year-old at the time, was attending a field trip at the New Orleans’ French Quarter [Source: Pittsburgh Courier]. While on the field trip, Dotson was wrongfully arrested by Louisiana troopers who claimed he resembled a suspect they had been looking for. However, when the troopers first approached Dotson, they failed to identify themselves as officers of the law and proceeded to push him against a building and place him in handcuffs.
One of the troopers, Huey McCartney, began using his personal cellphone to take photos of Dotson while he was handcuffed. McCartney alleged that Dotson then kicked him in objection of him taking photos. Dotson was then taken into custody and placed in jail for 36 hours on a battery charge. That charge was later dismissed and expunged from his record.
However, because Dotson and his father felt that he was not only a victim of racial profiling but also of police brutality, they decided to open a civil case against the four arresting officers that Dotson came in contact with while on his field trip. Dotson and his father filed the civil claim in January 2018 and had a jury rule on the matter. While the jury did find that “McCartney unconstitutionally detained the teen after the officers had no reasonable suspicion” to do so, they ended up siding with the other three troopers and even went as far as rejecting a series of racial profiling claims.
The case didn’t end there.
Dotson’s LA police brutality attorney requested that the case be retried as he found out that the lawyers who were hired to represent the troopers “unconstitutionally struck Marcus Henderson, a 49-year-old black teacher” from the jury on account of his race. The lawyers rebutted this accusation and claimed they struck Henderson because he “could have been sympathetic to Dotson’s father who also is an educator.” However, there was also another educator on the jury, except he happened to be white. That juror wasn’t struck nor was it brought to the attention that he too might be sympathetic towards Dotson’s father.
After that evidence was brought to light, a retrial was awarded to the Dotson’s. The family’s representing attorney stated that “we look forward to a new trial where we will continue to seek justice for Lyle.” The source pointed out that racial bias in the jury selection is an ongoing issue that although was banned, still continues. In “April 2018, the Washington Supreme Court became the first court in the nation to adopt a specific rule that banned implicit and intentional racial bias in jury selection.”
The truth is, the justice system has its flaws which often interfere with a person receiving the justice they actually deserve. Had Dotson not hired an attorney to represent him in his case, there is a chance it would have ended with the jury siding with the troopers and him and his father walking away with nothing. However, because he chose to hire a lawyer who was able to determine that racial discrimination interfered with the jury selection, a retrial was awarded, and the Dotson’s will get a second chance at seeking justice for the misconduct these officers displayed.
If you are a victim of police misconduct in Louisiana and are wanting to take a stand against the mistreatment that was inflicted upon you, contact the Shreveport, LA police brutality attorneys at The Ross Downs Law Firm at 318-281-2225. This team of aggressive attorneys will protect your rights and be there to support you throughout the duration of your case. The firm has two office locations in LA which are conveniently located at:
517 North Washington Street
Bastrop, LA 71220
4214 Hwy 165 N (at Finks Hideaway)
Monroe, LA 71203