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Suit alleges beating by New Orleans police

NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 20 (UPI) — An Alabama man claims in a federal lawsuit he was beaten by New Orleans police while handcuffed to a bench during the 2012 Mardi Gras.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, says Dylan Driggers, 19 at the time and arrested for public intoxication, was beaten unconscious by New Orleans police officers while handcuffed to a bench at a police station, and alleges police orchestrated a cover-up of the incident and possibly destroyed an incriminating surveillance video.

The suit names Lt. Michael Field and a “Sgt. Dupree” among the officers who harassed Driggers “for no reason,” and 8th Police District Commander Jeff Walls and a “Detective Castro” as conspirators who allegedly covered up the beating.

Police had claimed Walls and another defendant attempted to destroy the surveillance footage, and Castro wrote a “false and misleading” police report that omitted reference to the alleged beating.

A June 2012 report by WVUE-TV, New Orleans, said Driggers refused medical treatment at the police station, which was not mentioned in his lawsuit. Orleans Parish Prison officials refused to admit Driggers because of his injuries and he was taken to a hospital where doctors noted a concussion before his return to the jail, the TV station said.

Once back in Alabama, Driggers was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome.

The police department’s Public Integrity Bureau has completed its investigation of the case and submitted a report to the district attorney’s office, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported, adding Driggers still faces charges of public intoxication and simple battery on a police officer.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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