• Nationally renowned business litigation and trial firm Reid Collins & Tsai LLP leads pro bono prosecution of civil rights case alongside the ACLU of Louisiana.
  • Verdict is first jury trial victory for the ACLU of Louisiana’s Justice Lab initiative challenging racially discriminatory policing practices.
  • Jury finds St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress upon 14-year-old who attempted to record the violent arrest of his mother.

May 3, 2024 – This week, national trial firm Reid Collins & Tsai LLP (“Reid Collins”) obtained a jury verdict on behalf of client Mr. De’Shaun Johnson in its prosecution of his federal civil rights case in Louisiana. Johnson is the son of Teliah Perkins, who was violently arrested at her own home in Slidell, Louisiana in May 2020 in response to a minor traffic violation she did not commit. Reid Collins is representing Mr. Johnson and Ms. Perkins pro bono in partnership with the ACLU of Louisiana’s Justice Lab.

On Wednesday, the Eastern District of Louisiana jury, composed of citizens of the greater New Orleans area, awarded Johnson $185,000 for the intentional infliction of emotional distress by St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy Ryan Moring as Mr. Johnson tried to film the violent and unnecessary arrest of his mother.

On May 5, 2020, officers Kyle Hart and Moring arrested Ms. Perkins while her son and nephew watched and tried to record on their phones. Hart and Moring tackled Ms. Perkins to the ground and held their body weight on her as she told officers “You’re choking me!” As Mr. Johnson started to record the incident on his phone, Deputy Moring stepped in front of him to prevent him from capturing the incident. Moring pushed Mr. Johnson (14 years old at the time) in the chest and aimed his Taser directly at him. When Mr. Johnson objected “You can’t Tase a child,” Deputy Moring responded: “Watch me.”

Since the incident, Mr. Johnson was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and received treatment as a result.

“We are proud to represent De’Shaun and to have worked with the ACLU of Louisiana’s Justice Lab on this important matter,” said Keith Cohan, Reid Collins & Tsai LLP partner. “There should be accountability for law enforcement officers who seek to intimidate those observing them in the line of duty. With this victory, that’s exactly what happened today.”

“We are thrilled to see justice served for De’Shaun,” said Nora Ahmed, ACLU of Louisiana legal director. “As we face imminent threats to our rights to record police in Louisiana, the Justice Lab—and our pro bono partners and colleagues like the Reid Collins team with whom we prosecuted this case—will continue to fight for brave individuals like Ms. Perkins and her son and fight for a world of justice and safety for all people.”

This marks the first jury trial-to-verdict victory for the ACLU of Louisiana’s Justice Lab initiative ( Reid Collins is proud to be a part of the Justice Lab’s litigation campaign to challenge racially discriminatory policing practices and combat police violence against people of color.

The case is captioned Teliah C. Perkins et al. v. Kyle Hart et al., U.S.D.C. Eastern District of Louisiana, Civil Action No. 2:21-CV-00879.

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Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.