Officer James Dipuma overheard a call dispatched to the Livingstone Parish Sheriff’s Office about a child molestation with the suspect still at the location.  He got there first.  When deputies arrived, Dipuma already had Raymond Robison in handcuffs, but deputies noted that Robison was severely beaten.  When asked about it, Dipuma said that Robison resisted arrest.

Unfortunately for Dipuma, deputies were able to determine that Dipuma and one of the juvenile rape victim’s family members had beaten Robinson severely after Robison had already been handcuffed.

First, I’m not all that sympathetic to Robison – if he raped that young boy, he deserves whatever form of punishment that comes his way.  But it is not for the police to administer that type of justice, especially not on him while he is in handcuffs.

Second, I applaud the Livingstone Parrish Sheriff for pursuing this and putting a rogue officer behind bars.

Third, Dipuma should have never been a police officer at Walker.  Dipuma’s first police job was in East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.  While there he was suspended without pay for 30 days for the way he handled a suspect at a call, which included kicking the suspect in the head.  In 2009, a suspect suffered a severe facial injury.  Dipuma resigned following a polygraph test that indicated he lied.  Three years later he applied at the Livingstone Parish SO, and after some hesitation, the sheriff gave him a second chance, but terminated him within about a year for conduct unbecoming an officer.

Robison is still in jail on charges of Molesting a Juvenile, Aggravated Rape, and Resisting an Officer.  Dipuma was charged with Malfeasance in Office and second degree Battery.  The family member was charged with Simple Battery.

I understand how this happened.  You have an officer that is enraged by what the suspect did to the boy, and lacks the self control necessary to allow the system to adjudicate the matter.  So he figures he’ll apply a little street justice.  The problem here is allowing him a chance to do it again.  He was given a second chance by Livingstone Parish, and then a third chance by Walker PD.  I understand the thought process of the sheriff – it had been three years and he wanted to believe that Dipuma had changed and deserved a second chance.  The problem is that Dipuma should have learned that lesson after getting a 30-day suspension, but didn’t.  You can’t afford to take a chance when someone has had two excessive force cases like that sustained.  And I don’t have a clue what the chief at Walker PD was thinking.

 

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