In an about-face, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand released a longer cellphone video Thursday that shows one of his deputies punching a high-school student during an arrest last month.
At 51 seconds, the video is longer than the 37-second clip that’s been viewed more than 320,000 times on YouTube, but it depicts a similar scene in which 17-year-old Brady Becker appears to be resisting arrest and is struck several times in the face by Detective Nicholas Breaux, a plainclothes deputy trying to take Becker into custody.
Normand, who said the video shows a “wrestling match” between Becker and Breaux, refused to release the footage to the news media Wednesday after calling a press conference at the Sheriff’s Office. Reporters were only allowed to view the footage a single time after turning off all recording equipment.
Normand also had refused to comment on the arrest, which remains under investigation by the FBI, for nearly three weeks. But he delivered impassioned remarks for about 40 minutes about the arrest Wednesday, complaining that Becker was attempting to smear the Sheriff’s Office, along with his attorney, David Belfield, in order to bolster a federal civil rights lawsuit.
The arrest happened Feb. 13 in the parking garage of the Lakeside Shopping Center, as authorities were seeking to disperse a crowd of paradegoers watching the Krewe of Centurions in Metairie.
Becker, who received two black eyes and other facial injuries in the incident, was booked with four counts, including battery of a police officer and inciting a riot. He’s accused Breaux of using excessive force. Normand said Becker, a student at St. Charles Catholic High School in LaPlace, bears full responsibility for the incident.