A man body-slammed by a state trooper in the French Quarter over the weekend suffered several injuries during his arrest, including a laceration to his side and “serious bruising,” his attorney said Wednesday.
The attorney, Steve London, said his client practices medicine in Chicago and was “absolutely astounded” by the reaction of the trooper who forcefully subdued him about 4 a.m. Saturday inside Willie’s Chicken Shack on Bourbon Street.
A Florida photographer uploaded a cellphone video of the arrest that has been viewed nearly 700,000 times on Facebook.
“I can’t see any reason why that was necessary,” London said of the trooper’s use of force. “The man’s a medical doctor. He doesn’t travel in that type of circle where you all of a sudden have a physical confrontation with the police.”
The doctor, Michael Hoffman, 39, faces counts of counts of criminal trespass, public intoxication, disturbing the peace and resisting arrest.
The head of the Louisiana State Police voiced unequivocal support Tuesday for a trooper who …
State Police have said he was taken to the ground and issued a summons because he drunkenly refused to walk away from an argument at the Beach on Bourbon bar.
Hoffman had called 911 to complain that the bartenders had refused to return his debit card, London said, and assumed the trooper who arrested him had been responding to that call. In fact, authorities said, the trooper had been off-duty and was flagged down by employees of the bar who had been trying to get Hoffman to leave the premises.
Col. Mike Edmonson, the State Police superintendent, said Tuesday that the trooper’s use of force was justified under the circumstances. He said the cellphone video showed that Hoffman was “belligerent” and was resisting arrest.
London had been scheduled to appear in New Orleans Municipal Court on his client’s behalf Wednesday, but the proceeding was postponed because the paperwork related to Hoffman’s arrest had not yet been filed with the court.
Hoffman has returned to Illinois and was being evaluated Wednesday for an injury related to chest compression, London said.
“He’s at the doctor now, as we speak,” the attorney said by phone. “He has bruises on his face and head, serious bruising under his armpits. If you throw somebody on concrete like that and you’re on top of them, can you imagine what that does to your chest?”
State Police said this week they had not opened an internal investigation into Hoffman’s arrest and that no one had complained about the trooper’s use of force. London said Wednesday it “would be a waste of time to lodge a complaint with that organization” in light of Edmonson’s comments.
But he said Hoffman has not ruled out filing a civil suit or bringing a complaint to federal authorities.
“That’s very possible,” London said. “I’m waiting to see the extent of the injuries to my client.”