Former Monroe police Cpl. Jared DeSadier recently pleaded not guilty to charges arising out of a police brutality complaint while new court documents show other officers attempted to conceal the incident.
DeSadier faces felony charges of malfeasance in office and second-degree battery based on the excessive force complaint by Timothy Williams.
At an Aug. 25 hearing at Fourth Judicial District Court, DeSadier entered a plea of not guilty to both charges. Fourth Judicial District Court Judge Scott Leehy presided over the hearing.
On April 21, police encountered Williams outside The (Monroe) News-Star’s former office building on North 4th Street in Monroe and asked Williams to stop because they suspected possible drug activity. Police body camera video footage released by the city appeared to show DeSadier kicking Williams in the face while the subject was lying face down on the ground, with his hands behind his back. DeSadier resigned from the force in late July.
A 52-page filing at Fourth Judicial District Court included two investigative reports by Monroe police detectives based on their probe of the Williams incident on April 21 as well as their interviews with the officers involved.
The initial police report submitted in April after Williams’ arrest indicated Williams “fell and hit his head on the concrete causing lacerations to his face,” according to Monroe Police Det. James Schmitz. The initial report mentioned nothing about DeSadier’s treatment of Williams as seen in the body cam footage released by the city.
“Major (Vincent) Guiterrez stated he reviewed body camera footage of the incident and observed Officer DeSadier kick Timothy in the head,” stated Schmitz’s report. “Major Guiterrez stated Officer DeSadier could also be heard in the video beating Timothy.”
According to Schmitz’s report, a handful of officers questioned each other about whether their body cameras were active at the time of the incident, especially once Williams began to declare the poor treatment he received from DeSadier.
Body cam footage from Monroe police officer Joshua Rachow, who was placed on administrative leave the same day as DeSadier, indicated Rachow was the officer handcuffing Williams when the suspect was kicked by DeSadier.
“Officer Rachow is then heard saying, ‘NO,’ as another officer runs into camera view and kicks Timothy in the face/head,” stated Schmitz’s report. “Before the suspect was kicked in the face, he was lying on the ground being quiet. After the kick, the suspect began to cry....After kicking Timothy, it appears Officer DeSadier places his knee next to the suspect’s neck or head. While in a kneeling position, it appears Officer DeSadier knees Timothy in the head.”
Rachow declined to speak with detectives during their investigation.
Later, investigators viewing Rachow’s body cam footage reported seeing DeSadier slam Williams on the back of a police car.
“It should also be noted that just before Officer DeSadier is seen kicking Timothy in the face, the words ‘You hot’ are heard,” stated Schmitz’s report. “Those words are very faint, but it sounds like Officer DeSadier’s voice. The words ‘You hot’ are commonly used with officers to ask each other if you are currently recording.”
Several police officers responding to the incident on April 21 either possessed body cam footage or gave statements indicating DeSadier repeatedly told Williams he fell on the concrete or deserved what he got whenever the suspect objected to getting his teeth kicked out of his head.
Of one officer’s body cam footage, investigators reported hearing Williams say, “He knocked my teeth out.”
“DeSadier responded by saying, ‘You fell and knocked your teeth out. You ran out of your shoes and fell on your face,’” stated Schmitz’s report. “DeSadier told Timothy if he hadn’t run this would not have happened. Timothy responded by saying, ‘I’m in the wrong for running, but I’m not in the wrong for him kneeing me in the face, kicking me in the face, beating me up, and knocking my teeth out.’ [A police sergeant] then asked Officer [Anthony] Smith if his body cam was running. Sgt. Robinson later (asks) Officer DeSadier if his body camera was running. Officer DeSadier responded to the question by shining his flashlight on his body camera DVR, and [the sergeant] looked at Officer DeSadier’s DVR and said, ‘Nope.’”
In another video, Williams fell or “belly flopped” to the ground while being treated by Acadian Ambulance personnel and had an apparent seizure. Some officers claimed suspects often had seizures or would flail about to keep from going to prison.
A number of officers questioned by investigators acknowledged that Williams did not sustain the cuts to his face after falling to the ground but was bleeding when DeSadier escorted him to the police car.
Smith told investigators that Williams did not “have any visible injuries or trauma to his face or body at the time contact was first made with Timothy.”
In a July 15 interview with investigators, Williams told them an officer came out of nowhere and kicked him and stomped him in the face.
“Every time he stomped me, and my face hit the concrete, I would go to sleep, he’d stomp me again, and I’d wake up,” Williams said.
Williams claimed the kick to his head resulted in the loss of a tooth. His missing tooth was photographed and logged into evidence.
“Timothy stated he tried to tell the MPD lieutenant while at the hospital that his officers had whipped him, but the lieutenant didn’t want to listen,” stated Schmitz’s report. “Timothy stated the officer who was behind him and put handcuffs on him made a hand motion to the officer who was beating him that the lieutenant was coming.”
According to Monroe Police Det. Kris Fulmer’s investigative report, Monroe Police Lt. Tommy Crowson accompanied Williams to the hospital after the incident.
“Lt. Crowson asked Cpl. DeSadier if he kicked Williams in the head and he told him that he did not kick Williams in the head,” stated Fulmer’s report. “Lt. Crowson said he thinks that Ofc. Rachow told him that they chased Williams and tackled him.”
Later, Crowson called Fulmer after remembering “some details of the incident.”
“Lt. Crowson said that when we first talked, he told me that he did not see any signs of injury to the suspect’s face prior to the suspect falling on the road,” stated Fulmer’s report. “Lt. Crowson said that he now remembers that the suspect did have some abrasions to his face prior to the fall and that’s why they called the ambulance.”
City documents show Rachow and DeSadier were placed on leave on July 6. Crowson and Sgt. James Thigpen were placed on leave on July 18. Guiterrez was placed on leave on July 20.
Schmitz said he obtained a warrant for DeSadier’s arrest but was initially unable to make an arrest because DeSadier’s legal counsel, Monroe attorney Michael “Mickey” DuBos, claimed his client would be out of town until July 27. On July 22, police learned DeSadier had been seen at his home in Monroe and later obtained cell phone tracking information that led them on July 25 to DeSadier’s location in Calhoun.