Former Iberia deputy pleads to civil rights abuse

Amateur video of the September 2013 incident went viral on YouTube.

A former deputy for the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to violating a handcuffed suspect’s civil rights by using excessive force.

Cody Laperouse, who was fired by the department in the days after a citizen video of the incident went viral on YouTube, faces up to a year in prison, a $100,000 fine and one year supervised release. Laperouse and fellow deputies were dispersing around 1:40 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 29, 2013 when, according to witness accounts, he twice struck a man who was handcuffed and laying on his side.

“Law enforcement officers play a critical role in our society and every day put their lives on the line to serve our citizens,” U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley says in a release announcing the plea. “They are the unsung heroes who take an oath to follow the law and to keep us safe. Unfortunately, Mr. Laperouse breached that trust and violated his oath by using excessive force on a member of our community.”

The FBI aided the IPSO’s Internal Affairs Division in the investigation. No sentencing date has been set.

Read more about the IPSO’s troubling history with black residents in this Oct. 2, 2013 IND story.