Tased Louisiana trooper gets his job back
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A fired Louisiana State Police trooper who was tased by a fellow trooper during a DWI traffic stop has gotten his job back.
Lt. Sheldon Perkins, 49, of Baton Rouge, was terminated from his job as a trooper after his arrest in August 2019 on speeding and drunk driving charges.
Perkins appealed his termination to the State Police Commission which held a hearing on the matter Thursday.
The commission reinstated Perkins but demoted him by one rank, to the position of sergeant, and suspended him for 720 hours of pay, the maximum allowed.
Several weeks ago, Perkins successfully completed a one-year pre-trial diversion program, resulting in the charges against him being cleared from his record.
Pre-trial diversion programs are designed to allow a fresh start for first-time offenders.
His 2019 arrest report says Perkins, who was off-duty at the time, was stopped for speeding on Burbank Drive in Baton Rouge by another state police trooper.
Perkins was allegedly traveling 85 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone, the arrest report says.
The arrest report says Perkins immediately provided his identification and “advised he was a Lieutenant with Louisiana State Police.”
The responding trooper says Perkins performed “poorly” on a field sobriety test and began walking onto the roadway.
As the trooper attempted to remove Perkins from the roadway, Perkins allegedly pushed the trooper, the arrest report says. At that point, the trooper used a taser on Perkins.
Perkins was eventually taken into custody and transported to the Louisiana State Police Troop A facility where he provided a breath sample. His blood alcohol concentration was revealed to be .177g%. That is about twice the legal limit in Louisiana.
Perkins was charged with first-offense DWI, battery of a police officer, resisting an officer, reckless operation, and improper lane usage.
Perkins had previously been suspended for two weeks and docked an additional 80 hours of pay in 2017 after investigators determined he removed evidence from a state vault.
LSP investigators determined that Perkins violated a number of policies, including one requiring troopers to “maintain a competency level sufficient to properly perform his duties,” according to a 2017 report by The Advocate newspaper.
The report says investigators determined Perkins had improperly handled fishing equipment and a $400 ice chest recovered during a 2015 theft investigation in Grand Isle. Perkins’ “improper” actions included never entering the stolen items into the State Police evidence tracking system.
Since the case was closed, Perkins determined the items were no longer needed and took the property, the report claimed. When questioned, Perkins allegedly told investigators he intended to donate some of the items to Goodwill but hadn’t gotten around to doing so. Perkins also allegedly gifted a fishing rod to a retired State Police lieutenant, Bruce Dykes, who allegedly helped him remove the property from the evidence room.
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