Jury declines to indict officer involved in death of pedestrian struck in road

BRPD officer will not be indicted for fatal pedestrian crash in 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge police officer involved in the death of a pedestrian who was struck on Florida Boulevard in June of 2017 was not indicted for his role in the collision, according to the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office.

In April of 2019, the DA’s office presented a case to a grand jury, which decided not to indict veteran officer, Frederick Thornton.

Officials said the officer had some glass in his face from the busted windshield of his vehicle.
Officials said the officer had some glass in his face from the busted windshield of his vehicle. (Source: WAFB)

Thornton was on duty at the time of the collision, but was not responding to a call when he struck Phillip Clark, 42, near N Acadian Thruway. A BRPD spokesperson said Thorton did not have his lights on at the time of the crash.

Thornton was headed westbound on Florida Boulevard approaching Acadian while an ambulance was traveling north on Acadian and crossing Florida in front of the police car, according to witnesses. Thornton apparently changed lanes to drive around the ambulance and did not see Clark crossing the street, witnesses told WAFB.

Thornton was placed on paid administrative leave immediately after the incident. An internal investigation resulted in a speeding ticket and five-day suspension because Thornton was driving too fast, according to BRPD officials.

Thorton remains employed with BRPD’s Street Crimes Unit, a spokesperson confirmed to WAFB Tuesday, Jan. 7.

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