Excessive force lawsuit upheld

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A state appeals court upheld a $124,000 excessive force case judgment against the Eunice Police Department and the Saint Landry Parish Sheriff's Office.

Wednesday's decision comes in a lawsuit filed by Jurnell Smith, who sought damages after officers used pepper spray and a stun gun against him when he drove up on a crime scene near his Eunice home in 2009.

One of Smith's attorneys said Smith was caught off guard by the encounter with the authorities.

The Sheriff's office did not appeal, but the Eunice Police Department has sought to toss out the damage award.

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