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article imageWatch Louisiana trooper body slam drunk tourist on Bourbon Street

By Arthur Weinreb     Jun 30, 2016 in Crime
New Orleans - A video of a Louisiana State trooper body slamming a tourist in the French Quarter of New Orleans has gone viral. Officials with the state police say the trooper did nothing wrong while effecting an arrest.
The incident occurred around 4 a.m. Saturday. A staff member of a Bourbon Street bar flagged down the unidentified trooper who had just come off-duty after completing a 12-hour shift. The employee told the officer there was a drunken patron on the premises who refused to leave.
The patron in question, later identified as Michael Hoffman, refused to leave the bar, claiming a bartender had not given his debit card back. Hoffman had apparently called 911 and thought the officer was responding to the call.
Joshua Plouche, a photographer from Florida, characterized the incident as some sort of misunderstanding. When the officer began talking with Hoffman and his brother, he began filming the encounter on his cellphone.
The video shows the trooper having what appears to be a calm conversation with Hoffman and his brother at the doorway of the bar and it looks like the brother is attempting to resolve the situation. Hoffman is mostly out of range of the video at the beginning. The trooper then gradually moves the two men down the street. The conversation is difficult to hear because of background noise.
Hoffman is telling the officer about not getting his debit card back and asks, "How is this okay?" At that point, the trooper goes to grab Hoffman's right arm and the tourist's brother gets in between them. The officer then throws the brother to the side where he lands against a bunch of garbage bins.
With the brother out of the way, the trooper then grabs Hoffman by the right arm and puts him against the outside wall of Willie's Chicken Shack, a business next to the bar. As the trooper is pushing him to the wall, Hoffman looks at the camera and says, "Hey, you're on camera." Hoffman can then be seen grabbing onto the wall next to the door with his left arm. At this point, the cop grabs Hoffman, who appears to be resisting, around the waist and moves him into Willie's and then body slams him to the floor. The officer manages to handcuff him.
Plouche uploaded the video to Facebook and it has been viewed more than 700,000 times.
Hoffman was not booked into jail but was given a summons for resisting arrest, public intoxication, criminal trespass and disturbing the peace. The New Orleans Advocate reports Hoffman is a 39-year-old physician visiting from Chicago. His attorney, Steve London, says Hoffman will vigorously defend the charges and said his client sustained injuries during the arrest including a laceration to his side and serious bruising.
Hoffman's brother, who initially tried to get his brother to leave the bar, was not charged.
But after viewing the video, the Louisiana State Police found the trooper had acted properly. Trooper Melissa Matey said Hoffman was resisting arrest and the officer had a duty to keep others safe. She added if you obey the commands of police officers, nothing bad will happen to you. Supt. Col. Mike Edmonson also defended the trooper and said it is easy to pick apart the video but when dealing with intoxicated people you really do not know the people or what is going on.
Reaction to the video on social media was mixed. Some thought it was a straight case of police brutality while others agreed with the police that Hoffman should have left the bar after the trooper told him to or at least not resisted being handcuffed.
More about body slam, Louisiana State Police, Bourbon street, Viral video
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