SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) – A white Louisiana police officer is free on $25,000 bond after his arrest for shooting to death an unarmed black man who was trying to flee from police responding to a call from domestic disturbance earlier this month, authorities said on Friday.
After reviewing evidence and body camera footage of the officers, state troops charged Shreveport Police Officer Alexander Tyler, 23, with manslaughter in the death of Alonzo Bagley, 43. as well as audio from the 911 recording reporting the initial disturbance.
“We are disappointed that the Louisiana State Police filed a complaint against Officer Tyler,” his attorney, Dhu Thompson, said on Friday in an interview with the Associated Press.
Thompson said they are ready to defend the case in court.
“As the evidence has shown, Officer Tyler was placed with an unfortunate split-second decision in a very charged atmosphere,” Thompson said. “We believe the early evidence shown at Thursday’s bail hearing supports his position in this case.”
Thompson told KSLA-TV that it is now up to the Caddo Parish district attorney’s office to decide whether to bring the charges before a grand jury.
“Hopefully a thorough examination of the evidence will show that Officer Tyler did nothing wrong,” he said.
Thompson said he saw the camera footage and some of the press conferences following the shooting.
“I am saddened to see some of the irresponsible narratives that have been spread through social media and other means,” he said. “Every time this happens, a lot of misinformation is put into the public arena, which inflames emotions and exacerbates the tragedy. We have urged the public and the media to let the trial take place here. Let the case be judged by the facts and evidence and not be influenced by other cases because each case should stand on its own circumstances.
Thompson said Tyler is obviously “shocked” and “shaken” by the incident.
“It’s an unfortunate situation for everyone involved,” Thompson said.
Bagley’s family members filed a $10 million lawsuit against Tyler, who has been in the service for about two years.
“The lethal force used against Mr. Bagley was unjustified, unreasonable, excessive, and in violation of Mr. Bagley’s rights under the United States Constitution and the laws of the State of Louisiana,” according to the lawsuit, filed by Bagley’s wife, mother and stepdaughter.
The family hired Louisiana attorney Ronald Haley, who has represented other high-profile clients including the family of Ronald Greene, a black motorist whose 2019 death in state police custody in north Louisiana prompted actions lawsuits and criminal charges against law enforcement.
Thompson said he is not currently involved in the civil suit.
The hearing is set for April 3.
Tyler remains on paid administrative leave.