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November 26, 2022

Bogalusa Police Responds to Federal Lawsuit Article

On November 25, 2022, the Bogalusa Police Department issued the following as a Press Release on their Facebook page:

"In response to the article released on 11/24/22 by The Advocate. Immediately after this incident the Louisiana State Police was contacted. A full investigation into the case and all involved was launched and is still ongoing. The Bogalusa Police Department is fully cooperating with the Louisiana State Police as they continue their investigation into this incident. Any questions or new leads should be directed to the Louisiana State Police Investigative Division. 985-893-6250."

The Press Release is apparently in response to an article published in The Advocate on November 25, 2022 (click here to read The Advocate story) reporting on a federal lawsuit accusing Bogalusa police and Washington Parish deputies of violating the civil rights of 28-year-old Eric L. Nelson of Bogalusa who died late last year in police custody and of lying to cover it up.

On December 19, 2021, the Louisiana State Police reported that “Detectives assigned to the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations were requested by the Bogalusa Police Department to investigate an in-custody death occurring within the city limits of Bogalusa.”

On December 20, 2021, the Louisiana State Police provided an update, reporting that “the preliminary investigation revealed that shortly after 11:00 a.m., on December 19, 2021, Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a single vehicle crash on Borgne Avenue in Bogalusa. After their arrival, deputies learned that the driver of the vehicle, 28-year-old Eric L. Nelson of Bogalusa, had multiple felony warrants previously issued in Bogalusa. Officers with the Bogalusa Police Department arrived on the scene at the request of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office. Upon their arrival, Nelson attempted to flee on foot. After a brief foot pursuit, Nelson was taken into custody by the Bogalusa Police Department. During the incident, a Taser was utilized. While being transported to the Bogalusa City Jail, Nelson complained of respiratory issues. Bogalusa Police Department Officers called emergency medical services for assistance. After being evaluated by emergency medical services personnel, Nelson was transported to a local hospital. Nelson died while receiving treatment at the local hospital. This is an active investigation and further information will be released when it becomes available.”

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