Warrant issued for deputy who beat inmate, lied about it, Gusman says _lowres

Former Orleans Parsish sheriff's deputy Lateefa Marshall, wanted on a count of malfeasance in office and simple battery.

A fired Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy is wanted on counts of malfeasance and simple battery after she allegedly beat an inmate and then lied about it, Sheriff Marlin Gusman said Thursday.

Lateefa Marshall, 32, filed a report March 29 that claimed an unidentified female inmate in one of the tents at Orleans Parish Prison bumped into her and then spat at her, apparently necessitating physical action against the inmate, Gusman said.

However, a video of the incident shows the battery upon the inmate was “unprovoked … and without cause or reason,” according to an application for an arrest warrant.

Other Sheriff’s Office employees had to break up the fight, Gusman said.

The inmate suffered minor injuries to her ear and chest, according to the application for the warrant.

“We don’t tolerate that conduct,” the sheriff said at a news conference.

Marshall was suspended a day after the incident when an internal investigation began, and she was notified of her dismissal earlier this week, Gusman said.

A judge signed the arrest warrant Wednesday. Marshall remained at large Thursday.

Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said that for inmates to fear deputies inhibits rehabilitation efforts at the jail.

“If the inmate has to learn how to fight to survive in the jail, then that inmate upon his or her release will be a very dangerous person when they go back onto the streets of this community,” Cannizzaro said.

Gusman said Marshall had been a Sheriff’s Office employee for about a year before she was fired. He said he did not know of any other instances in which inmates accused her of misconduct.

Follow Danny Monteverde on Twitter, @DCMonteverde.