The family of 27-year-old DeJuan Guillory has taken legal recourse by filing a wrongful death lawsuit after Guillory was allegedly shot and killed by Evangeline Parish sheriff deputy, Holden Lafleur. The incident dates back to July 6th, 2017, when Guillory and his girlfriend, Dequince Brown, were pulled over at 4:00 a.m. The two claimed they were out looking for frogs, but neither had identification on them.
Although there are a lot of discrepancies between the stories provided by Brown and those provided by Lafleur, the lawsuit claims that an altercation broke out when Lafleur provoked Guillory, screaming in his face because of his lack of identification. Guillory allegedly pushed Lafleur back to get him out of his personal space and that is when the two began to fight. When Lafleur ordered Guillory to the ground, threatening him with his gun, Guillory complied. But, Lafleur claims that Guillory struggled and fought back while on the ground which prompted him to pull the trigger. That and the fact that Brown had jumped on the back of the deputy in an attempt to save her boyfriend’s life.
The lawsuit also states that before the deputy shot his first round, Guillory was pinned to the ground by the deputy’s knee. Brown told her boyfriend to “be still baby,” and the officer threatened to shoot. While Guillory did make an attempt to run away in fear of his life, the deputy shot his weapon a total of three times. Guillory was hit in the back which indicates he wasn’t a threat to the deputy as he was moving in a direction away from him. While Lafleur claims he was fearful for his own life, the other deputy who has been named as a defendant and was present when the incident went down, stated that “Lafleur should have never been hired because he was prone to “fits of anger, mental instability and racial animus against African-Americans” [Source: The Acadiana Advocate].
And it just so happens that Guillory was black and Lafleur was white.
Although Lafleur was first charged with the shooting, he was indicted on these charges. However, Guillory’s family isn’t willing to sit back and let another act of police brutality occur without justice being served. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed in federal court and the family is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
If you have lost a loved one to an act of police brutality or any other accident that could have been prevented, you may be able to file a lawsuit on the decedent’s behalf to recover damages. To learn more about how you can take legal action, contact the wrongful death lawyers at Smith Stag located in New Orleans. They can provide you with the necessary information that can help you make an informed decision on how you want to proceed on with the matter. To speak with a New Orleans wrongful attorney now, call 504-593-9600.