Shreveport police confirm man who fought officers has died - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Shreveport police confirm identity of man who died after fighting officers

Shreveport police are identifying the man who died shortly after he fought with officers Saturday night as 44-year-old Jerome Dexter Christmas. (Source: Shreveport Police Department) Shreveport police are identifying the man who died shortly after he fought with officers Saturday night as 44-year-old Jerome Dexter Christmas. (Source: Shreveport Police Department)
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Shreveport police confirmed the identity of the man who died shortly after being involved in a fight with officers Saturday night, and say an investigation has been launched into his death.

44-year-old Jerome Dexter Christmas was reportedly approached by police after officers responded to a call about a man walking down Highland Avenue, stripping down to his underwear.  It happened just after 6:00 p.m. Saturday in 1100 block of Highland Avenue in Shreveport.

When officers approached the man, they say he began to fight with them and had to be restrained. Police say the man was not responding to their orders. 

However, at least 7 witnesses who say they saw the whole thing, telling KSLA News 12 that officers used excessive force while trying to subdue the man.  

"That man laid down on the ground on his own free will, when the other two officers came, he was already down and they started tasing that man, when he was already down on the ground," claimed one witness, who didn't want to be identified. 

"When the other officer pulled up, he started beating that man all in the legs, several times, when he wouldn't stop jerking from moving, he started beating him at the top of his head with his billy club," the witness said.

Those witnesses claim officers began to perform CPR on the man when he appeared to stop breathing.

"As I got closer to the situation, I saw the guy laying on the ground, they were pumping his chest and everything like that," said another witness. 

Police say the man was unconscious and was rushed to the VA Medical Center, where police say Christmas died Saturday night.

Caddo Coroner Dr. Todd Thoma says an autopsy was conducted Sunday morning.  Dr. Thoma says the preliminary investigation indicates the man died of natural causes.  Dr. Thoma explained Christmas suffered from cardiac arrest, while being restrained by police. The coroner believes Christmas' cardiac arrest likely happened because he was having a heat stroke. He says there were no signs of significant trauma that would cause death.

Final autopsy results will be available in 3 to 4 weeks.

Cpl. Marcus Hines with the Shreveport Police Department says, "There was a struggle with the individual and again officers are trained to us force, to use the appropriate amount of force given the situation and the totality of those circumstances involved in that situation.  So there was force used in order to get the combative subject into police custody. Again, this is still very early in the investigative process."

Hines says the four officers involved in the arrest have been placed on paid administrative leave in accordance with departmental policy as the investigation continues. One of them was also injured in the struggle after he partially tased himself accidentally.

Stay with KSLA News 12 on air and online as more information becomes available on this developing story.

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • National drive providing suits to those in need

    National drive providing suits to those in need

    Friday, July 21 2017 11:03 PM EDT2017-07-22 03:03:17 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

    For nine years Lake Charles Men’s Wearhouse store manager Michael Rodriguez has been helping men look their very best. But Rodriguez also gets a chance to help men and women struggling to find a job through his company’s annual suit drive.

    More >>

    For nine years Lake Charles Men’s Wearhouse store manager Michael Rodriguez has been helping men look their very best. But Rodriguez also gets a chance to help men and women struggling to find a job through his company’s annual suit drive.

    More >>
  • Lake Charles men indicted in connection with Fournet Street shooting death

    Lake Charles men indicted in connection with Fournet Street shooting death

    Friday, July 21 2017 10:53 PM EDT2017-07-22 02:53:36 GMT
    Lake Charles men indicted in connection with Fournet Street shooting death. (Source: KPLC)Lake Charles men indicted in connection with Fournet Street shooting death. (Source: KPLC)

    A Lake Charles man was indicted Friday by a grand jury in connection with a shooting that killed another man in May.

    More >>

    A Lake Charles man was indicted Friday by a grand jury in connection with a shooting that killed another man in May.

    More >>
  • Concerns raised about possible revisions to Calcasieu sewerage ordinance

    Concerns raised about possible revisions to Calcasieu sewerage ordinance

    Friday, July 21 2017 9:26 PM EDT2017-07-22 01:26:44 GMT

    Local business people are raising a red flag on proposed changes in Calcasieu Parish's sewerage ordinance. Some predict a huge cost increase at multiple levels for developers, realtors and consumers. However, parish officials say those who have read proposed revisions have only seen them because they were seeking input from various segments of the community.

    More >>

    Local business people are raising a red flag on proposed changes in Calcasieu Parish's sewerage ordinance. Some predict a huge cost increase at multiple levels for developers, realtors and consumers. However, parish officials say those who have read proposed revisions have only seen them because they were seeking input from various segments of the community.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly