Broussard resident Maegan Adkins Barras received a $70,000 settlement last year over her controversial arrest in February 2019 for posting video of a high school fight to social media.
The details of the settlement were recently obtained by The Acadiana Advocate through a public records request for a story about an unrelated lawsuit involving Barras.
Barras received $69,999 — $50,000 from the city of Scott and $19,999 from the Lafayette Parish School System — in August 2020 as a result of the federal lawsuit.
She filed the federal lawsuit in February 2020 in Louisiana's Western District, which is based in Lafayette. The complaint outlined that Barras suffered the following injuries and damages:
- violation of her constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment
- unlawful arrest and excessive force
- loss of physical liberty
- physical pain and suffering
- mental anguish and emotional pain and suffering
- punitive damages against Scott Police Officer Cody Savoie in his personal and professional capacities
Barras gained an instant online following in February 2019 after she was arrested by Scott Officer Cody Savoie and spent a night in jail for unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety and publicity.
When Maegan Adkins-Barras watched a video of a fight that happened at Acadiana High School, she instantly felt sick to her stomach.
Barras said in a 2019 interview that she only posted the video because she was concerned the student may have suffered head trauma. She said the fight concerned her because her husband had suffered brain damage months earlier when he used a shoelace to hang himself in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.
The video in question, which Barras' son obtained from another student via Snapchat, showed a fight in which a teenage boy's head hit a concrete bench on the campus of Acadiana High School. These are the words Barras wrote in her Feb. 19, 2019, Facebook post that accompanied the video, according to the report prepared by law enforcement for the district attorney's office:
"This was at our local High School today. This should NOT be happening. Why do we have to worry so much about our kids at SCHOOL? Listen to his head hitting the concrete bench. I Can't Even."
The capitalization emphasis is hers. She also included a "feeling concerned" tag with her Facebook post and an angry face emoji before the final sentence. She shared the video and words with her Facebook friends initially, but she said she changed her privacy settings to public at the request of others who wanted to share the post.
Barras said in a 2019 interview that she was contacted on Feb. 20 by an Acadiana High School resource officer with the Scott Police Department who told her he wanted to question her son about the fight but needed a parent present because he's a minor.
"When I got there, I realized they weren't questioning my son," Barras said in a March 2019 interview. "They already had the arrest affidavit, and they read me my rights."
Her video had disappeared from Facebook by the time she arrived at the school. Although the police report said Barras removed it herself, she denied this and said someone reported it and Facebook removed it.
A Broussard mom’s civil rights may have been violated Wednesday when police arrested her for posting a video to social media that shows a figh…
Public outcry was swift after Barras' photo and the details surrounding her arrest were posted to the Scott Police Department's Facebook page. The questionable arrest made local and national headlines before Barras was released from the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.
Lawyers who weighed in on the arrest pointed out that the law Barras allegedly broke applies only to "a person who is either a principal or accessory to a crime."
The district attorney's office did not prosecute the case.
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