ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) – Two former correctional officers for the St. Landry Parish Correctional Center after facing criminal charges after surveillance footage showed an inmate being beaten inside the facility.
The investigation began on Sept. 21 following a force complaint concerning an inmate inside the parish jail, St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said.
Video footage reportedly shows an inmate being placed into a restraint chair by correction officers, identified as Damien Anderson and Zachary Herpin. The officers claimed the inmate became “verbally abusive”, which prompted one of the officers to allegedly punch him in the face multiple times. Guidroz said footage also shows the inmate’s head being slammed against the concrete wall of the jail’s decontamination room while he was still handcuffed behind his back.
The investigation revealed that in the first incident, although the inmate was verbally abusive, he posed little to no threat to the two officers and received an unlawful use of force, the sheriff’s office said in a release.
“I am very disappointed that two of my own correctional officers used an unlawful use of force,” Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz said in a statement Friday. “We train our officers on the proper use of force, de-escalation techniques, and voice command controls.”
The sheriff continued, “The complaint was lodged on September 16 and I immediately placed them on leave until the investigation was fully investigated and completed. After the investigation revealed an illegal use of force was found, we charged the two officers and terminated them.”
Anderson was charged with three counts of battery and malfeasance in office. Zachary Herpin was charged with two counts of simple battery and malfeasance in office.
“Anytime any officer uses unnecessary force to restrain an arrestee or inmate in custody, they will be investigated, and the correct disciplinary action will be administered,” Guidroz said.