Allegations of Police Brutality - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Allegations of Police Brutality

May 3, 2004
Reported by Rhonda Kitchens

There are allegations of police brutality: this time, it's against the Sulphur Police Department.

A group of residents say they witnessed a disturbing beating late Sunday night, and after what they saw, they're surprised the victim made it out alive.

Residents of a Sulphur apartment complex say more than half a dozen officers beat 20-year-old Kurt Richard, who was already handcuffed.

They say, by the time it was over -- some 20 minutes later -- they weren't sure if Richard had survived.

Jamie Hebert witnessed the alleged incident: "At first he was screaming but then the screams stopped and shortly after the screams stopped he stopped moving altogether, but they didn't stop."

And Hebert say just when they thought the beating was over, Richard was dealt one last blow: "Whenever they went to get off of him the blonde lady cop kicked him in the head."

Joseph Myers says he was stunned by what he saw: "His whole face was covered with blood. It didn't look like he was breathing because he wasn't moving and I sat there. A friend of mine asked the cop 'Are y'all allowed to do that?' I asked him what his name was and I leaned my head over to see what his name was on his badge and he grabbed me by my hat and jerked my head up and said 'Henry'."

Myers says, after that, neighbors watched as Richard was taken away by ambulance.

The alleged victim's father, Bubba Richard was also stunned: "Oh God. The egg on the side of his head where they kicked him its got to be an inch and a half away from his head and its just humongous."

As for Bubba Richard, he says seeing his son after the alleged beating was almost too much to bear: "I know he's not an angel but there's no reason for that. It just tears me up."

Richard says his son was later arrested on charges of possession of marijuana and other drug-related charges.

But he says even if the charges are true, the punishment the officers doled out was much more harsh than any court would allow.

Now, he says, his family is looking into taking their own legal action.

7-News did contact the Sulphur police department. They say they haven't received completed officer reports from Sunday night's incident, and they don't want to comment until those are turned in.

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