The Monroe police officer arrested for second-degree battery and malfeasance in office in connection with a Monroe citizen’s excessive force complaint resigned from the department earlier this week amid an ongoing investigation.
Over the weekend, Monroe police detectives charged Jared Preston DeSadier, 42, on suspicion of the two felony charges stemming from an incident of alleged excessive force in the April 21 arrest of Timothy Wayne Williams, 40, of Monroe.
Monroe Police Sgt. Charles “Chuck” Johnson, who is the department’s public information officer, confirmed DeSadier was one of four officers placed on administrative leave in connection to the excessive force incident. The local civil service board accepted DeSadier’s resignation during a meeting on Tuesday.
When arrested on April 21, Williams was transported to a local hospital for treatment of “lacerations he suffered while trying to evade capture,” according to an arrest report. The arrest report’s account did not match Williams’. Through his attorneys, Williams claimed he was kicked, punched and slammed while in handcuffs, resulting in numerous injuries.
Williams ultimately pleaded guilty to flight from an officer and possession of drug paraphernalia during a June 17 court hearing. Monroe attorney Donecia Miley, one of the attorneys representing Williams, said her client did plead guilty to the charges, though that occurred before he retained her law firm on July 9.
Miley said her client recognized DeSadier as one of the officers who allegedly hurt him.
“Yes, he knew exactly who he was,” said Miley.
She noted that Williams only saw two officers when the alleged beating began, though there could have been eight officers present at the time.
When asked whether the law firm was planning to file a lawsuit on Williams’ behalf, Miley said, “We’re discussing that at the moment.”
“That’s mainly where we’re at now,” Miley said. “We’re in the process of getting him treatment. We have not made a decision on a timeline to file anything at this point. We’re trying to bring awareness to the public about what’s going on.”
In a joint statement issued by the police department and Mayor Friday Ellis’ office, the city confirmed it received the complaint of excessive force in late June. The Monroe Police Department’s internal affairs division as well as police detectives were conducting an investigation.
Ellis, who was elected in the July 11 primary election, was sworn into office July 21.
“Early evidence indicates that these were the only two officers present when force was used,” stated Monroe City Attorney Angie Sturdivant. “The city and MPD have also requested assistance with the investigation from outside agencies, but MPD remains the primary investigating agency at this time.”
Miley said the city had not answered some of her client’s questions or released certain documents to them.
“We are still trying to get an opportunity to get that information released,” Miley said. “We don’t know who was placed on administrative leave or who is still on patrol.”
The city has declined to release body cam footage captured by officers present at the April 21 incident. Monroe police detectives filed DeSadier’s initial booking report and arrest warrant under seal.
According to Johnson, the department’s public information officer, detectives asked the court to seal the initial booking report and arrest warrant — which are considered public records under state law.
“We asked for it to be sealed,” Johnson said. “They requested that the judge seal it because there are other officers who have not been interviewed yet.”
Ellis’ administration has pledged to release the body cam footage of the incident soon, once officials are assured the footage’s release will not jeopardize the investigation.
“The city of Monroe and the Monroe Police Department will not tolerate or condone misconduct by officers nor the mistreatment of any of our citizens,” Ellis said. “We are conducting this investigation with the highest degree of integrity possible. Our officers take an oath to protect and serve our citizens, and our officers perform their jobs dutifully and in accordance with that oath every day. Officers who break the law or violate policy will be held fully accountable, and we will keep this process as transparent to the public as possible within the limits of an ongoing investigation.”
Meanwhile, in light of his resignation, DeSadier has withdrawn his appeal of a local judge’s decision to enforce his previous termination from the police department.
DeSadier lost his job in May 2017 after he suffered a minor injury and took a drug test indicating the presence of Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — the main psychoactive ingredient of marijuana — in his system. DeSadier claimed he only tested positive because he used Cannabidiol, or CBD, oil and other herbal supplements that contained trace amounts of THC. Later that year, the Monroe Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board heard evidence concerning his failed drug test and termination, and agreed to reinstate DeSadier.
Fourth Judicial District Court Judge Robert Johnson ruled in July 2019 that the city had legal grounds to terminate DeSadier. DeSadier appealed the judge’s decision to the Second Circuit Court of Appeal in Shreveport but withdrew that appeal after resigning from the department this week.