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Press Release

Former Desoto Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Pleads Guilty to Federal Civil Rights Violation for Assaulting Detainee

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana

SHREVEPORT, La. – A former DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy, Javarrea Pouncy, 30, pleaded guilty to depriving a detainee of his civil rights under color of law by willfully using unreasonable force against the detainee.

“Like any law enforcement officer, the defendant had a duty to protect people in his custody,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Instead of fulfilling his duty, the defendant abused his authority by beating a detainee who posed no threat to him, leaving the victim broken, bloodied and bruised. The Justice Department is committed to investigating and prosecuting officers who violate the civil and constitutional rights of those in their care.”

“This defendant was an officer of the law who took an oath to serve and protect others, but he did the exact opposite of that,” said U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown for the Western District of Louisiana. “This incident was unnecessary and a result of this defendant’s abuse of the law. We take these violations of civil rights of others very seriously and will continue to prosecute those who violate these laws in the Western District of Louisiana.”

“There is never any excuse for a man or woman who takes the oath to serve and protect to do what Pouncy did in this case,” said Special Agent in Charge Lyonel Myrthil of the FBI New Orleans Field Office. “The FBI is committed to uncovering cowards who attempt to hide their acts of violence behind the badge. Justice is finally served in this case.”

According to court documents, on September 27, 2019, Pouncy was working as a deputy at the DeSoto Parish jail when he and another deputy strip searched a detainee as part of the booking process. During the search, Pouncy and the other deputy, DeMarkes Grant, repeatedly punched the detainee, even though the detainee did not pose a threat to either officer. The officers threw approximately 50 punches at the detainee, including in the head and face. As a result of the assault, the detainee was hospitalized and diagnosed with a broken eye socket and broken nose, among other injuries.

Grant previously pleaded guilty to an obstruction offense for filing a false report about the assault, which he did knowingly and purposefully in order to prevent authorities from learning about the unreasonable use of force.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 7, 2024. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Pouncy faces a penalty of 30 to 37 months in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The FBI New Orleans Field Office investigated the case. Trial Attorney Erin Monju of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Reeg for the Western District of Louisiana are prosecuting the case.

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Updated April 10, 2024

Civil Rights