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Attorneys Representing Police Misconduct Victims Across Texas

This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for police misconduct injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by police miscponduct.

The Family of a Man Beaten to Death in a Louisiana County Jail Files a Federal Lawsuit

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Beauregard Parish Jail in Louisiana (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

At the age of 40, Tommy Joe Smith was allegedly murdered at the Tangipahoa Parish jail in Amite, Louisiana, on January 31, 2017, by 12 prisoners, who attacked him. An autopsy showed that he died of blunt force trauma to the head. In the first week of January 2018, Smith’s family filed a lawsuit in connection with his death. The lawsuit claims that prisoners known to be violent were free to move between cells, though they knew Smith’s history increased the potential that he would be targeted for violence. The federal lawsuit claims that Smith was brutally beaten to death by a dozen prisoners while authorities in charge of the jail failed to adequately protect him. The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office said things at the jail dormitory were very quickly brought under control, after the brutal attack.

According to Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards, the environment created limitations such as the ability of the victim to escape and the safety of jail staff members, emergency medical responders, and the prisoners. The primary consideration, in regards to that comment, was the number of prisoners involved in the custodial death.

In connection with Smith’s death, one juvenile and 11 men have been indicted by a grand jury on manslaughter charges.

In county jails, prisoners have a right to be protected from violence. Certain procedures are in place that provide guidelines for how to run a jail. In Texas, for example, county jails must follow a set of minimum jail standards. Jails are routinely inspected, to ensure that required practices are being followed. If there has been negligence, a jail receives a citation; they have a certain period of time in which to remedy the situation.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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