MONROE, La. — Graphic body camera video kept secret for more than two years shows a Louisiana State trooper pummeling a Black motorist 18 times with a flashlight — an attack the trooper defended as "pain compliance."
The Associated Press obtained footage of the May 2019 traffic stop in Monroe that left Aaron Larry Bowman with a broken jaw, three broken ribs, a broken wrist and a gash to his head that required six staples to close.
The incident began as a traffic violation for improper lane usage. Louisiana State Police Trooper Andrew Brown arrived on the scene after officers had already forcibly removed Bowman from his car and placed him on the ground.
The video shows within two seconds of arriving on the scene, Brown unleashed 18 blows with his aluminum flashlight. Between blows, Bowman screamed out that he was not resisting arrest.
Brown, 31, later said Bowman had struck a deputy and that the blows were "pain compliance" intended to get Bowman into handcuffs.
Bowman faces several charges in connection with the incident, including battery of a police officer and resisting an officer. He denies hitting officers and is not seen on film hitting officers.
Bowman's encounter with police took place less than three weeks after troopers from the same agency punched, dragged and stunned Ronald Greene before he died in custody. Video of that arrest was also kept from the public until the Associated Press published it earlier this year. Police initially reported that Greene had died in a car crash.
Federal prosecutors are examining both cases in a widening investigation into police brutality and potential cover-ups.