DA voices concern over former NOPD's release from jail

DA voices concern over former NOPD's release from jail

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - There is new insight Wednesday night into how two former NOPD officers, charged with simple battery were first released from jail.  Spencer Sutton and John Galman both pleaded not guilty Wednesday to beating a man outside a Mid-City bar early Tuesday morning.

But the DA's office says it's suspicious how they were first released from jail.

Louisiana state law defines simple battery as a crime of violence in using physical force against another person. And the man who claims he was the victim his face bears the evidence.

Jorge Gomez, who said he only wants an apology from the former NOPD officers, now says he's consulting with attorneys for a possible lawsuit.

Gomez said, "I think the intention was to kill me but like I said you have to play it cool even on the worse moments."

Considering the elements and charges of the case is exactly why District Attorney Leon Canizzaro says it was so disturbing Galman and Sutton were both released on their own recognizance, all because of a phone call from commissioner John Friedman's office.

Canizzaro said, "In other words he did not have the opportunity to view either of these individuals and determine the full nature of the facts before he did so."

Canizzaro says he doesn't know the nature of the initial call, but says with the violent charges, the men should have first appeared in court before release.

"I'm not in a position to determine whether it was a favor or not, but I do know that the law says when someone is charged with a crime of violence it is illegal for a judge or commissioner to give him a recognizance bond," said Canizzaro.

The judge reversed that recognizance order in court Wednesday, setting the bond for each man at fifteen hundred dollars. But when so much more was expected from the public servants, the two are not only out the cost of bond but also their careers.

"It is unfortunate that these two officers who have a sworn duty to protect and serve this public would violate the trust of the public by going out and engaging in an act of violence it is extremely disturbing to us," said Canizzaro.

FOX 8 reached out to Commissioner Friedman's office for comment Wednesday, but did not hear back.

After announcing the officers' termination today, the NOPD released a statement saying they are investigating whether any civil rights were violated in the case.

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