Louisiana deputy arrested after inquiry finds jail brutality

DERIDDER, La. — A southwest Louisiana sheriff’s deputy has been arrested and a second deputy has been fired after brutality complaints.

Josh Benefield, was arrested for three counts of simple battery on Thursday and booked into the Beauregard Parish Jail. He was later released on bail, and it’s unclear whether he has a lawyer representing him.

Beauregard Parish Sheriff Mark Herford told KPLC-TV that the sheriff’s office took action after getting a complaint about unjustified use of force by Benefield and another deputy who worked at the Beauregard Parish Jail.

Sheriff’s detectives found that one inmate was sprayed with a chemical agent and a second inmate was shocked using a stun gun on two occasions without cause.

Herford said the deputies violated sheriff’s office policies and were fired. The sheriff said the second deputy wasn’t charged because he only pointed a stun gun and threatened an inmate.

“We hold ourselves to a higher standard than that,” Herford said. “We enforce the law equally and fairly to everyone, including the deputies of this department, with no exceptions.”

The sheriff said it is retraining deputies on when it’s appropriate to use force.