The Justice Department today announced that it reached an agreement with the City of Ville Platte and a separate agreement with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office (Louisiana) to end the pattern or practice by the Ville Platte Police Department (VPPD) and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) of conducting arrests in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. After a thorough investigation, the United States concluded that it had reasonable cause to believe that these agencies have arrested and held people in jail—without obtaining a warrant and without probable cause to believe that the detained individuals had committed a crime—in violation of the Fourth Amendment. VPPD and EPSO used these arrests, called “investigative holds,” as a regular part of their criminal investigations, inducing people to provide information to officers under threat of continued wrongful incarceration.
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