MONROE, La. – A former Louisiana State Police trooper pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a federal charge in the 2019 video recorded beating of a man whose injuries included a broken jaw and broken ribs.
Jacob Brown is charged with “deprivation of rights under color of law” in the beating of Aaron Bowman following a north Louisiana traffic stop.
Wednesday’s hearing in Monroe was held via video conference. Brown’s September indictment came amid federal scrutiny of other troopers who punched, stunned and dragged another Black motorist, Ronald Greene, before he died in custody.
The Greene and Bowman beatings took place less than three weeks and 20 miles (32 kilometers) apart. Body camera videos of the incidents remained under wraps before The Associated Press obtained and published them this year. Civil lawsuits alleging abuses by state police have been filed in both the Greene and Bowman cases.
Brown was allowed to reman free pending trial, with bond set at $50,000. “We are very disappointed in the fact that he was not detained this morning,” Donecia Banks-Miley, an attorney for Bowman, said outside the courthouse.
“I'm praying that we all get justice,” a subdued Bowman said as he stood with his attorneys and supporters, including Greene's mother.
The federal probe of Greene’s 2019 death has grown to include an examination of whether police officials obstructed justice t o protect the troopers who beat Greene after a high-speed chase.
Video and police records show Bowman was struck 18 times with a flashlight in 24 seconds after local deputies pulled him over for a traffic violation near his Monroe home. Brown later said Bowman had struck a deputy and the blows were “pain compliance” intended to get Bowman into handcuffs.
Bowman, 46, denied hitting anyone and is not seen on the video being violent with officers.
This version corrects that the quote in the 4th paragraph is from Aaron Bowman.