The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office has determined that the actions of a deputy captured on video last year, in which he grabbed a woman by the hair and slammed her to the ground, were “both reasonable and acceptable.”
The incident involved JPSO Deputy Julio Alvarado, a 17-year veteran, and Shantel Arnold, 34, a Black woman who is under 5 feet tall. It drew national attention after the brief video clip was covered by ProPublica, WWNO and The Times-Picayune | The Advocate
State Sen. Gary Carter, a Democrat from New Orleans who is representing Arnold, said in a statement that the incident reflects the JPSO’s “well-documented history” of using excessive force against people of color. Carter, who said he is filing a federal civil rights lawsuit on Arnold’s behalf in the next few days, called on Sheriff Joe Lopinto to take stronger action.
My hope is that Sheriff Lopinto sees Shantel Arnold’s federal complaint as an opportunity to turn the page on the dark history of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office,” Carter said, “and implement policies and procedures meant to protect all the people of Jefferson Parish, including women, African-Americans, and people of color, like Shantel Arnold.”
Lopinto, in an interview, strongly defended his handling of the case.