Former Monroe Police Cpl. Reggie Brown recently sued the polygraph examiner whose questioning of Brown last fall led to the officer’s termination for lying about when he turned over an excessive force complaint to investigators.
In a lawsuit filed last month at Fourth Judicial District Court, Brown claimed he was forced to undergo a polygraph examination and that the polygraph examiner should have ensured Brown’s participation was voluntary.
Cecil Carter Jr., a state-certified polygraph examiner from Shreveport, conducted the polygraph examination of Brown on Oct. 13, 2020. During the examination, Carter questioned whether Brown intentionally waited until after the city’s mayoral election in July 2020 before asking Louisiana State Police to investigate an excessive force complaint against some of the department’s officers.
In April 2020, Timothy Williams complained that former Monroe Police Cpl. Jared DeSadier beat him and kicked him while he was lying on the ground and handcuffed during an arrest. DeSadier has since resigned from office and now faces felony charges of malfeasance in office and second-degree battery.
According to Monroe Police Chief Victor Zordan, Brown waited to act on Williams’ complaint for personal gain.
Last year, Brown was serving as the department’s interim police chief under then-Mayor Jamie Mayo, who sought re-election. Brown did not forward Williams’ complaint to State Police until after Mayo lost the election to businessman Friday Ellis, according to Zordan.
A polygraph expert inspecting the results of Carter’s polygraph examination found there was a 99.9 percent likelihood that Brown lied during the exam.
Brown is seeking damages from Carter and his company, Scientific Investigative Services of Louisiana Inc.
Neither Carter nor his company have filed an answer to Brown’s lawsuit, though Carter testified about his polygraph examination during a Monroe Police and Fire Civil Service Board hearing last month. Brown filed an appeal with the Civil Service Board, seeking to overturn his termination.
Most of Brown’s claims in his Oct. 12 lawsuit centered on whether he voluntarily signed a form consenting to the polygraph examination.
In his lawsuit, Brown claimed he objected to signing a form that stated he was undergoing a polygraph examination “without duress, coercion, force, intimidation.”
“Petitioner objected to signing the consent form and put the letters ‘up’ in a circle standing for ‘under protest,’” stated Brown’s lawsuit.
At the time, Carter explained the polygraph examination could not commence unless Brown signed the consent form.
“This is when (Monroe Police) Sergeant Michael Fendall explained that Petitioner was being ordered to take the polygraph examination,” stated Brown’s lawsuit.
Brown claimed Carter should have refused to administer the polygraph examination once he learned Zordan had ordered an officer to undergo the examination.
“At that point, Petitioner was faced with the choice of either refusing an order that would result in ambiguously described consequences or signing a document that incorrectly suggested the polygraph examination was voluntary and would forever prevent Petitioner from seeking remedies against entities and individuals mentioned in the consent form for any negligence associated with the polygraph examination,” stated Brown’s lawsuit.
Brown said the “coerced polygraph examination” resulted in his termination.
The polygraph examination, which reportedly lasted more than two hours, contained three relevant questions pertaining to the claims against Brown:
“Did you discuss with anyone about delaying sending the Williams case to LSP [Louisiana State Police] because of the 7/11/2020, City of Monroe Mayor Election?”
“Did anyone tell you to delay sending the Williams case to the LSP because of the 07/11/2020, City of Monroe Mayoral Election?”
“Did you delay sending the Williams case to the LSP because you didn’t want to send the Williams case to the LSP before the 07/11/2020, City of Monroe Mayoral Election?”
During the polygraph, Brown answered, “No,” to each of the three questions.
During his testimony before the Civil Service Board last month, Carter said his manual scoring and the computer’s scoring of Brown’s answers indicated he “was deceptive.”
“He failed all three questions,” Carter told the Civil Service Board. “Based on his answers, there’s no doubt.”
Before the Civil Service Board, Brown’s attorneys also have argued their client was nervous and exhausted when he underwent the polygraph examination.