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LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that a former Iberia Parish Sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty to striking a handcuffed man.
Cody Laperouse, 29, of New Iberia, La., pleaded guilty to a one-count bill of information charging a violation of an individual’s civil rights by use of excessive force. The plea was taken by U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Hanna. According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, Laperouse, while acting as a deputy of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office on September 29, 2013, struck a man who was under arrest and on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back. Laperouse was one of several officers tasked with dispersing a large crowd around 1:40 a.m. that had gathered after the close of the Sugar Cane Festival in New Iberia. The crowd was asked to disperse, and the victim was arrested during this time. The victim was instructed to lie flat on the ground in a face-down position, but instead remained on his side and did not comply with the instructions. Laperouse struck the victim twice, using excessive force.
“Law enforcement officers play a critical role in our society and every day put their lives on the line to serve our citizens,” said Finley. “They are the unsung heroes who take an oath to follow the law and to keep us safe. Unfortunately, Mr. Laperouse breached that trust and violated his oath by using excessive force on a member of our community.”
Laperouse faces up to one year in prison, one year supervised release, and a $100,000 fine. A sentencing date was not set.
The FBI and Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs Division conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph T. Mickel and Jamilla A. Bynog are prosecuting the case.