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Family of man killed by West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Deputy files wrongful death suit

Sep 4, 2019

The family of a Port Allen man killed by a West Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputy in July filed a wrongful death suit Wednesday in federal court.

The suit alleges that Josef Richardson was unarmed and in his underwear when deputies from the Riverwest Narcotics Task Force burst into his motel room in search of drugs.

Richardson’s family and their attorneys say they want answers.

National civil rights attorney Ben Crump says this lawsuit could give them access to information that hasn’t been disclosed by law enforcement.

"We know, whether it be Alton Sterling, whether it be Josef Richardson, that we want to be able to see everything for ourselves," Crump said. "Had there been body cam video, we would see it for ourselves."

Specifically, they want a chance for their own firearms expert to examine the gun used in the shooting to determine whether or not it had been modified from factory standards-- possibly requiring less pressure to fire.

Richardson was killed by a single bullet to the back of his neck. His girlfriend, who was in the room, said in the complaint the fatal shot was fired within seconds of the deputies entering.

The sheriff’s office released the name of the deputy who killed Richardson, but other than that hasn’t commented on the circumstances of the shooting. They’ve turned the investigation over to Louisiana State Police.