IBERIA PARISH, La. (AP) A Louisiana sheriff charged with ordering the beatings of prisoners and orchestrating a brazen cover-up is standing trial this week in federal court.
No matter the jury’s verdict, the Justice Department’s case against Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal already has left bruises on the community that first elected him eight years ago.
The local district attorney has dismissed more than 100 criminal cases connected to nine former employees of the sheriff’s office who pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges over the jail beatings.
The sheriff’s critics say his indictment also has inflamed racial tensions and eroded the public’s trust in a police force that already had a strained relationship with residents.
Jury selection begins Monday.