NEW ORLEANS – (LSP / RELEASE) — After an extensive investigation, Troopers with Louisiana State Police have charged one of their own with simple battery. The charge comes as the result of an investigation into an incident in which a Trooper was found to have used excessive force while attempting to effect an arrest on an individual.
The incident began on February 11, 2017 when Master Trooper John Neal was on duty assigned to Troop N in New Orleans. MT Neal was alerted to a stolen vehicle in Orleans Parish, and upon spotting the vehicle stopped in traffic on Almonaster Blvd. at Louisa St. confronted the occupants. One of the occupants, a 19 year old male, fled on foot from MT Neal, but was detained shortly after by other Troopers in the area of Louisa St. at Powhattan St.
As MT Neal approached the victim, he was handcuffed behind his back, lying face down on the ground and offering no resistance. Another Trooper who was present informed Detectives that when MT Neal approached the victim he kicked him in the head while he was handcuffed and still prone.
MT Neal raised the victim to his feet and escorted him to a nearby patrol unit where he forced the victim’s head into a rear window causing it to shatter. This action was captured by civilian surveillance video and body camera videos from MT Neal and another Trooper present at the scene. MT Neal transported the victim to University Medical Center where he was treated for minor injuries. The victim was released from the hospital shortly after and booked into the Orleans Justice Center for possession of a stolen auto, resisting an officer, and littering.
As the investigation unfolded, Detectives discovered no evidence to support Neal’s use of force on the victim. As a result of their investigation, Detectives determined that MT Neal committed simple battery on the victim. MT Neal was arrested and charged with 1 count of simple battery. MT Neal has been and remains on forced leave during the course of the investigation.