A street festival almost turned into a riot in Louisiana last weekend.
The Sugarcane Festival, a five-day event featuring music, art, activities and food in New Iberia, Louisiana’s 10th largest city, brought people out from all over the state. The Saturday night of the festival ended, but an impromptu block party was thrown in one of the neighborhoods.
Sometime between 1 and 2 a.m., police arrested three people, and that’s when everything got out of control. A cell phone video captures what many are calling police brutality, clearly showing a woman being slammed to the ground and a man being beaten with a club.
Ladaedrea Moore, 17, says that she saw her uncle Christopher Butler, along with another man David Hardin, arrested next to a cop car. When she approached the officers to ask why her uncle was arrested, she says she was knocked out cold.
“I saw one of the officers slam Chris to the ground,” said Moore to The Advertiser. “And I was worried so I said, ‘Chris, are you OK?’ When I said that, the officer grabbed me and hit my head on top of the car ... and that’s when they dropped me on the concrete.”
Not long after, as evident in the video, one officer began to beat Butler with a club. Butler’s mother said that the beating was uncalled for, claiming that it was a clear use of excessive force.
“His elbow is real swollen,” said Elaine Butler. “There’s a huge bruise on his thighs; all the back of his legs are swollen. He went to the hospital.”
The deputy shown in the video clubbing Butler has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, and Captain Ryan Turner of the New Iberia Sheriff’s Department says that he can’t disclose any information right now.
“On the conclusion of the investigation, we’ll be able to disclose the results,” said Turner.
As of Thursday, the YouTube video of the incident had more than 18,000 views. You can see the video below.