Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:07 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:07:52 GMT
Labor Day weekend has a special significance for alligator hunters in Mississippi. A few days into the start of this year's hunting season, a record-setting 756-pound gator was caught by Robert MahaffeyMore >>
Labor Day weekend has a special significance for alligator hunters in Mississippi. A few days into the start of this year's hunting season, a record-setting 756-pound gator was caught by Robert Mahaffey of Brandon in the first weekend of the season.More >>
WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) -
Exactly one week after Ervin
Edwards was found dead inside a padded jail cell in the West Baton Rouge Parish
Prison, his family filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Federal Court.
"All parties are going to have to
be served - formally served with this document," said family attorney Joel
Porter claims Edwards died as a
result of being tazed by West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's deputies after he
was arrested for disturbing the peace at a Chevron Station on Highway 415 on
"It really doesn't matter if it
was a lawful arrest or unlawful arrest. They killed an unarmed man. It was
unprovoked, it was unjustified, it was unwarranted in a very callous and
cowardly manner," said Porter.
The lawsuit alleges the use of
excessive force by parish deputies. The suit claims Edwards was tazed after his
girlfriend warned deputies about his medical conditions. Sheriff Mike Cazes
says he understands the family's pain and elected to have the Jefferson Parish
Coroner's Office handle the autopsy and cause of death investigation.
"It's sad Mr. Edwards passed
away," said Cazes. "I can't control that and that's why I'm getting to the
bottom of it by getting Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office to investigate and
give me a report."
Porter claims Edwards death was
unprovoked and has requested all video surveillance collected at the West Baton
Rouge Parish Prison and from the initial arrest scene. He is calling for the
Federal Justice Department, FBI and State Police to get involved but Cazes says
his department has nothing to hide.
"I've been investigated by the
FBI before, I'd be happy to entertain anyone who wants to come in and look at
my file or whatever files we have on hand on everything we have. I'm not here
to cover up anything," said Cazes.
"Here a mother has to plan the
burial of a son and a son has to come into Christmas without the joy of his
father being present. That should not be," added Porter.