St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's office cleared of federal lawsuit
POSTED: Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 10:30am
UPDATED: Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 10:34am
ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA — A jury ruled that the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s office did not use excessive force in a matter involving Anthony Chaney, who brought the civil rights complaint against the agency in federal court.
In February 2009, deputies were attempting to execute a search warrant at a residence in the Slidell area. Chaney was one of several people in the house at the time. He refused to comply with deputies’ commands, leading to a brief struggle with one of the deputies. During the course of the struggle, Chaney grabbed for the deputy’s weapon. The deputy gained control of the weapon and fired at Chaney, striking him in the chin.
Chaney was subsequently charged with and convicted on one count of attempting to disarm a peace officer, for which he was given a two year sentence. He was also convicted for one count of residential burglary. He is currently serving a five year prison sentence for that conviction.
The jury deliberated for less than two hours, including a break for dinner. When they returned, they announced their decision to award Cheney $0.00. Chaney had asked the court for $1,000,000 in damages.
Chief Deputy Brian Trainor, also a legal advisor to the Sheriff, attended the one-day trial and commended the deputies involved in this incident as well as the jurors in the case.
“I am extremely proud of the way our deputies handled this situation. If the threat presented by Chaney had not been immediately resolved, the lives of every deputy at that scene would have been in jeopardy,” Trainor said.
“The jurors in this case are to be commended for examining the evidence and the testimony and coming to the correct conclusion – that our deputy responded to the threat in accordance with his training, experience, and in the only reasonable manner,” said Trainor.