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|Ferriday man says officer slammed him to ground|
Richard Stewart said Tuesday that when he saw a Ferriday police car with its lights flashing and two armed policemen standing outside his business at 120 Louisiana Avenue that he felt safe to walk outside.
Instead, the 69-year-old said he was slammed to the ground by another officer and to this day doesn't know why.
He filed a complaint with the District Attorney's office today (Wednesday).
A Grand Jury has convened twice in the last five months in an ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct by the Ferriday Police Department.
Stewart said he was inside his store -- Stewart Arts & Crafts -- around 7:30 p.m. on Monday, February 18, boarding up a door when he heard someone shout, "Come out with your hands up."
Stewart said he glanced through a window and when he saw police officers he did as he was told.
"I walked out with my hands up," he said, where two Ferriday police officers were waiting with guns drawn. He identified one as Ricky Hollins, but said he didn't know the identity of the other officer.
As he walked out with his hands in the air, Stewart said he was suddenly hit from behind by a third Ferriday police officer whom he identified as Michael Bell.
"He twisted my arm, flipped me to the ground, and the only thing that kept my head from hitting the concrete was my right leg," said Stewart.
He said a fourth officer, a woman he didn't know, was also present but was standing at a distance.
Stewart said he was working to secure his store in lieu of the recent burglaries in Ferriday.
Bobbie Sims, who also works in the store where she and Stewart sell flowers and do sewing work, said she had left just a few moments before the incident.
"That could have been me," she said.
Not once, said Stewart, did an officer ask him for identification.
Once he got up off the ground, said Stewart, the officers "just left," but not before one officer asked if he "still did sewing" and the woman officer asked if "I wanted a ride home."
Stewart said the rough handling by the police officer "messed up my right shoulder and hurt my left leg all the way up to my back."
Sims said the pills prescribed for him to ease the pain "cost $109."
Stewart said, "I am blessed by the grace of God that my head didn't hit the concrete. It would have busted my head wide open."
Attempts to reach Police Chief Richard Madison for comments were not successful.
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