ABBEVILLE, La. — The city marshal who handcuffed and arrested a Louisiana teacher in videos that sparked internet outrage was a defendant in a lawsuit alleging excessive force in 2011.
Reggie Hilts, now a marshal in Abbeville, was a police officer in the city of Scott when the incident occurred. He and another officer were accused in a federal lawsuit of slamming an ailing 62-year-old man’s head on a concrete slab during an arrest.
The officers denied excessive force was used. They said the man was uncooperative and resisted arrest after city crews were dispatched to cut grass and weeds on his property.
The suit, filed in 2012, was settled in 2016. The Scott police chief said Hilts left the department in November 2011 for reasons having nothing to do with the incident.
Hilts, who works as a school resource officer at J.H. Williams Middle School in Vermilion Parish, hasn’t spoken publicly about the Monday arrest of Deyshia Hargrave. Vermilion Parish Schools Superintendent Jerome Puyau told The Associated Press that Hilts is also a local pastor.
“He’s a very good guy, he’s a pastor, respectable citizen here, and is well-respected in the community,” Puyau said. “Students and teachers love him.”