Black Teen Who Said Cop Threatened Him For Filming Mom’s Arrest Gets $185K

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A Black teenager has been awarded $185,000 after he accused a Louisiana deputy of interfering and threatening him for recording his mother’s violent arrest, ABC News reports.

De’Shaun Johnson, then 14, was at home with his mother, Teliah Perkins, when St. Tammany Parish deputies alleged she rode a motorcycle without a helmet. Perkins’ attorneys said the allegation was baseless and never prosecuted.

Perkins’ encounter with deputies turned violent as she was forced to the ground during the 2020 arrest.

Following the arrest, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of Perkins against the deputies, alleging excessive use of force and other police abuses. A federal appeals court sided with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office on excessive force allegations but allowed litigation to continue over claims that a deputy interfered with Johnson filming his mother’s arrest.

The ACLU alleged that the deputy stepped in front of Johnson to block his recording and threatened him with a Taser.

A jury ruled earlier this month that the actions of the deputy, identified as Ryan Moring, constituted “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” They awarded the teen $185,000.

“We are thrilled to see justice served for De’Shaun,” Nora Ahmed, the ACLU of Louisiana’s legal director, said in a statement.

However, the jury rejected the notion that Moring violated Johnson’s First Amendment rights by blocking him from filming the arrest.

Following the verdict, a spokesperson for Sheriff Randy Smith said they were planning to appeal the verdict against Mordict, saying the claim of him causing emotional harm was “meritless.”

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