Mamou, Louisiana Police Chief Sentenced For Violating Civil Rights
Robert McGee, former Mamou Police Chief, has been sentenced to one year and a day in prison, and one year of supervised release, for tasing a non-combatant inmate. The case is the result of a federal investigation that extended from the 2015 civil rights conviction of former Mamou Police Chief Gregory Dupuis for use of excessive force on inmates at the Mamou jail. McGee, who was elected Mamou police chief after the incident involving Dupuis, resigned his position as chief on Oct. 8, 2015, as a result of the federal investigation.
The incident that McGee was sentenced for occurred in 2010.
U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik Sr. sentenced McGee.
The federal bureau of investigation reports:
“According to evidence presented at McGee’s October 13, 2015 plea hearing, McGee went to the jail on Aug. 6, 2010, to deal with an inmate who had been verbally, but not physically, disruptive. McGee engaged the inmate in conversation as a second officer unlocked the cell. After the cell door was opened, McGee pointed his taser at the inmate and discharged his taser into the inmate’s chest and abdomen area, even though the inmate was compliant and made no aggressive moves toward the officers or any other person. The five-second electric shock caused the inmate to fall against the wall of the cell and experience physical pain. At his plea hearing, McGee admitted that he knew at the time that his actions were unlawful. “
Addressing the case, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta stated;
“Law enforcement officers are entrusted with the authority to use force for legitimate law enforcement purposes, including maintaining discipline in jails. However, the defendant abused that trust by deploying a taser on a compliant detainee.”
Robert McGee is named in a 2011 federal lawsuit where he is accused of participating in a conspiracy to intimidate guest workers into working and living in an abusive environment. The suit, filed by Mexican nationals in Mamou on work visas, says they were not allowed to leave the work premises. They attempted to visit a store and were pulled over and detained by McGee for the purpose of “harassing and intimidating them because they are Hispanic and Mexican, and threatening them that they would endure serious harm if they left” the work premises without permission. A settlement agreement was reached in 2013.