Nov. 4, 2016 05:28 PM

A federal jury on Friday found Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal not guilty on all charges of allowing his deputies to purposefully mistreat black residents of New Iberia and beating jail inmates, The Advocate reports.

The jury returned the not guilty verdict at 4:30 p.m. after four hours of deliberations.

After walking out of the courthouse with his attorney and relatives, Ackal described the allegations against him as a smear and said deputies who testified against him had “betrayed my trust and a lot of people depending on them for their safety.”

Ackal said he would have fired and arrested the deputies who he repeatedly referred to as “rogues” had he know about the beatings and abuses of prisoners.

Read The Advocate story here.