A video uploaded on Facebook Tuesday reportedly shows a Jeffersons Parish Sheriff’s Department officer forcing his way into a man’s home in River Ridge, La., pushing him onto his couch before handcuffing and arresting him. By Thursday, the video had been shared over 30,000 times.
The arrest was apparently the result of an altercation between Donrell Breaux, 26, and a neighbor on Sunday. The man’s friend, Eric Banegas, video recorded the incident.
Breaux also told the Times-Picayune that the deputy is a “personal friend” of the neighbor with whom he had a verbal disagreement. He alleges a clear conflict of interest in the case.
“I thought it was an unlawful arrest. I don’t have to submit to an unlawful arrest,” Breaux said.
The Times-Picayune explains what happened:
Breaux said he and Banegas were standing on Banegas’ front porch and talking. He admits to using profanity, but said they were cracking jokes amongst themselves. “It wasn’t to the point that we were loud and disturbing people,” Breaux said.
The neighbor walked out of his house and warned the two to watch their language. Breaux said the neighbor was belligerent, prompting a brief verbal confrontation that ended with the neighbor telling them he was calling the police.
“He threatens to call the police all the time about stuff in the backyard and stuff going on inside the house. Things like there’s too many cars in the driveway,” Breaux said. He felt the neighbor was out of line.
About 10 to 12 minutes later, a deputy arrived and spoke for a few minutes with the neighbor, according to Breaux.
That’s when he says the situation took a turn for the worst. The deputy reportedly grabbed his hoodie and got his handcuffs out.
“He said, ‘Let me see some I.D.,’ and grabs my wrist and says, ‘You’re under arrest,’ at the same time, I thought it was unlawful,” Breaux said.
The video shows the deputy on top of Breaux trying to handcuff him for several minutes. While the man certainly does resist arrest, he also repeatedly asks the officer why he is under arrest. “I’m scared!” Breaux says at one point.
“Sir, what are you doing? What is your name?” Breaux is heard asking in the video.
“I’m not answering to you! You’re going to answer to me,” the deputy replies.
Breaux was eventually arrested and booked on charges of battery of a police officer, resisting arrest with violence, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.
Breaux is questioning the conduct of the officer and his relationship with his neighbor.
“These are personal friends,” he said. “I wish I had friends that I could call and have them handle personal vendettas that I have with my neighbors.”
Breaux is in the process of trying to retain an attorney in the case.
In a news release, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman Col. John Fortunato said the neighbor “expressed his desire to pursue charges against the black male who cursed at he and his family.”
“He then directed the officer to the area where the male subjects were standing,” Fortunato said. “As the officer followed him into the doorway with his handcuffs in hand, Breaux attempted to close the door on the officer. The officer continued into the home where a brief struggle ensued. The officer did in fact tell the suspect he was under arrest for resisting an officer, as indicated in the video. Breaux was eventually placed in handcuffs and taken into custody.”