Chris LeDay, the man who was arrested by Dunwoody police shortly after posting a controversial Louisiana police-shooting video online, might sue the department for unlawful arrest and transport, according to a publicist for his attorney.
LeDay and attorney Tiffany Simmons maintain that LeDay was falsely arrested July 6 on a non-existent assault-and-battery warrant, said publicist Trezanay Atkins. But the Dunwoody Police Department continues to say LeDay was properly arrested on a valid warrant for failure to appear on traffic charges, according to Mark Stevens, the department’s public information officer.
LeDay previously suggested his arrest was retaliation for posting a video of the police killing of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge. The video circulated rapidly and helped spark a new wave of local and national Black Lives Matter protests.
“Dunwoody [police] transported, arrested and read Mr. LeDay his rights on a warrant for assault and battery—a warrant that did not and has never existed, nor was produced for examination at any time,” said Atkins.
Stevens said Dunwoody police never said anything about an assault and battery while picking up LeDay at Marietta’s Dobbins Air Reserve Base, where he worked at the time.
“Before leaving the building, the Dunwoody police officer showed Mr. LeDay a copy of the warrant as he stated Mr. LeDay was being arrested for failure to appear, not assault,” Stevens said. “The officer pointed out the original charges on the warrant to Mr. LeDay. A copy of the warrant was provided to the DeKalb County Jail during the intake process.”
“There was nothing unlawful about LeDay’s arrest and transport,” Stevens said.
LeDay posted the Sterling shooting video on July 5. The next day, he was detained by Dobbins law enforcement when he arrived for work as an employee of Critereom LLC and later transferred into the custody of the Dunwoody police.
One thing Dunwoody police and LeDay’s attorney agree on, according to Atkins, is that LeDay indeed had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in Dunwoody Municipal Court on traffic charges dating to July 2014.
In a previous interview, LeDay said that “the original word to me [from Dobbins law enforcement] was I was wanted in Dunwoody for assault and battery. They said I ‘fit the description.’ The description of who and for what took forever. So basically I was being illegally detained for 30 minutes before I even knew what was going on.”
LeDay also complained that Dunwoody police unnecessarily shackled him like “a deranged psycho killer.” Stevens previously said LeDay chose to wear leg shackles as a trade-off for being allowed to have his hands cuffed in front of him as a more comfortable position during the ride to jail.
LeDay has said in other interviews he believes his arrest was retaliation for posting the controversial video. Atkins said his lawyer “plans to pursue action against any combination” of Dobbins, Critereom and the Dunwoody Police Department for the “unlawful detaining and unlawful transporting of Mr. LeDay.”
Stevens said it is possible that some other agency’s officers told LeDay incorrect information about an assault charge. But, Stevens said, Dunwoody officers were called to the base to arrest LeDay on the failure-to-appear warrant and were clear with LeDay about that.
Atkins said LeDay is due in court on the traffic charges Aug. 17.