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$185K to Louisiana Teen Who Recorded Mother’s Arrest

A teenager who video-recorded his mother’s forceful arrest by Louisiana sheriff’s deputies in 2020 has been awarded $185,000 by a federal jury, in a lawsuit filed because one deputy tried to interfere with the recording, the Associated Press reports. De'Shaun Johnson was 14 when deputies got physical with his mother, forcing her to the ground at his family’s home in St. Tammany Parish, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans. The deputies had arrived to question his mother, Teliah Perkins, about allegations she had ridden a motorcycle without a helmet — a charge her attorneys said was baseless and that was never prosecuted.

A lawsuit against the deputies was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the law firm of Reid Collins & Tsai as part of the ACLU’s Justice Lab project, aimed at addressing allegations of police abuses. A federal appeals court largely sided with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office on many of the allegations about the deputies' use of force. But it allowed the litigation to continue over allegations that one deputy interfered with De'Shaun's use of his phone to film the arrest. As the teen began to record he arrest, a deputy stepped in front of him and threatened him with a Taser, the ACLU said. On May 1, after a federal court civil trial in New Orleans, a jury said evidence showed Deputy Ryan Moring’s actions constituted “intentional infliction of emotional distress” and awarded the teen $185,000.


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