JEFFERSON PARISH -- Two of the JPSO detectives implicated in the death of 22-year-old drug suspect Keeven Robinson have pending lawsuits against them claiming excessive force.
The New Orleans Advocate reports that sources familiar with the case identified the agents as David Lowe, Jason Spadoni, Justin Brister and Gary Bordelon.
Lowe and Bordelon are both named in pending lawsuits that allege excessive force in unrelated cases.
According to the filings, Lowe is one of two deputies accused of yanking a drug suspect out of a car in Harvey and punching, kicking and striking him with “clubs or flashlights.”
Bordelon is accused, along with two other deputies, of tackling and beating a woman accused of illegally possessing a prescription pain killer in her Westbank home.
An attorney for the Robinson family has this reaction to the pending lawsuits.
“What if, as a result of these prior lawsuits, these officers would have been taken off the street?” attorney Hester Hilliard said. “What if, as the result of these prior lawsuits, these officers would have been fired? Keeven may be alive.”
Attorney Donovan Livacarri has represented police officers in the past and is not part of either of these cases. He says the officers should not be judged based on prior complaints, but by an objective, reasonable standard concerning use of force.
"We are looking at these things in terms of law enforcement officers being put in positions where they have to face rapidly changing circumstances under tense situations,” Livacarri said.
Both Lowe and Bordelon have also been cited for valor in the line of duty. Lowe, for saving a woman who tried to jump off the Huey Long Bridge and Bordelon for arresting two career criminals responsible for dealing a large amount of heroin on the streets of Jefferson Parish.