Louisiana state trooper pleads not guilty in flashlight beating of Black man

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A Louisiana state trooper caught on video beating a Black man with a flashlight pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a federal civil rights charge.

Jacob Brown, 31, hit Aaron Bowman, a 46-year-old Black man, 18 times with the flashlight in 24 seconds during a May 2019 traffic stop. The flashlight was reinforced and designed for breaking glass.

The case was covered up until Bowman sued Brown and Louisiana State Police in December 2020.

Jacob Brown, pictured Dec. 10, 2020, pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

Jacob Brown, pictured Dec. 10, 2020, pleaded not guilty Wednesday. (AP)

Brown said nothing other than his plea at Wednesday’s hearing, according to NOLA.com. Bowman said, “I’m praying that we all get justice” after the hearing.

Bowman was driving near his hometown of Monroe, La., when Brown pulled him over. Body-camera video shows little aggressiveness from Bowman before Brown begins violently hitting him with the reinforced flashlight, landing a rapid succession of blows to the head.

“I’m not fighting you, you’re fighting me,” Bowman pleads.

“Shut the f--- up!” Brown commands. “You ain’t listening.”

That body-cam video was not released until August 2021. In September, the Justice Department charged Brown with deprivation of rights under color of law. He also faces an assault charge in Louisiana. That investigation was paused for the federal civil rights probe.

Brown was not detained Wednesday, having already posted bail in the assault case, NOLA.com reported. His attorneys argued he was not a flight risk.

Bowman’s beating is one of a number of cases involving Louisiana state troopers attacking Black men, including the death of Ronald Greene and the beating of Antonio Harris.

Brown is no longer a state trooper, having resigned in March 2021.

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