Body & dashcam video show police did not beat man on bicycle who filed lawsuit against department
Many people have recently seen social media posts claiming a man riding a bicycle was beaten by Shreveport Police Department officers. After the alleged incident, the man filed a lawsuit again the police department. KSLA has now obtained the body and dashcam video to show what happened with James Edwards and police the night of May 1.
KSLA submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain video from police of what happened on May 1 when Edwards was confronted by SPD. The first interaction between SPD officers and Edwards happened in a Kroger parking lot, where police lights were activated and Edwards, who is riding a bicycle, is asked to stop. Next, the video appears to show Edwards trying to ride away.
Next, as Edwards is speeding up, he tried to jump a curb while on his bike, and flips head over heels.
According to SPD, the initial reason for stopping Edwards was because someone called saying a man was ringing their doorbell around 3 a.m. that morning. Police claim there had been an increased number of home burglaries in this particular area. KSLA’s Tamer Knight spoke with Edwards’ attorney, Ron Haley, right after he viewed the video for the first time. He says the department lacks transparency.
“Certainly, based on the video that I’ve seen, I do not believe the police used any excessive force on Mr. Edwards. Certainly, one maybe be able to argue the fact he almost knocked himself out. The manner which they cuffed him could’ve been gentler, but to the extent that this is an excessive force case, I don’t believe that. However, it still comes back to the transparency issue and the fact that charging individuals with what they actually did helped create this narrative,” Haley said.
Police charged Edwards with resisting officers and cited him for not having a light on his bicycle. Investigators are not commenting and said only this: “This matter has not been adjudicated, so we are unable to make a statement at this time.”