David Harris died in Monroe Police custody, case has been bumped up to DA

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(Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

MONROE, La (KTVE/KARD)– For the past 8 weeks, the Northeast Louisiana Sheriff’s Investigative Unit conducted an investigation surrounding the in-custody-death of 51-year-old David Harris.

Today, the investigation unit announced they have concluded their investigation and are submitting the case to the Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office for full review.

The agency says its investigative team members have thoroughly investigated the matter and they appreciate the community’s patience and understanding while this investigation was conducted.

Details in this case could be released as early as next week.

Harris died on April 3, 2020 in Monroe Police custody.

According to police, Monroe Police Department officers came in contact with a man acting erratically at the intersection of Standifer Avenue and Alabama Street on Saturday, April 3, shortly after 1 PM.

Police say the man was taken into custody without incident but during the course of transport, the man became combative. During this, the man had a “medical emergency” and life-saving efforts were made by the police but the man passed away.

Monroe Police Department immediately requested that Ouachita Parish Sheriffs Office investigate the death.

At a protest earlier this year on the steps of Monroe City Hall, Local attorney Carol Powell Lexing said at the protest, “We don’t really know what law enforcement is handling this particular case, because they have not been transparent with us. They have not been forthright and forthcoming with at least allowing the family to sit down with them to find out what happened to David Harris.”

The family of Harris congregated on the steps as well. “I want to know what happened to my father,” says David Ruff, the son of David Harris. “I had some sleepless nights but God had the last say and the last answer.”

Ouachita Parish Sheriffs later placed the case in the hands of the newly formed Northeast Louisiana Sheriffs Investigative Unit. The unit says its effective date was on March 4, 2021.

Note from the Northeast Louisiana Sheriffs Investigative Unit:

**The Northeast Louisiana Sheriff’s Investigative Unit became effective on March 4, 2021. The unit is available upon request to conduct investigations involving use of force that results in death or serious bodily injury and in-custody deaths. It is comprised of Criminal Investigators from 8 parishes: Caldwell, Franklin, Lincoln, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Union, and Madison. Members assigned to the unit have extensive training and experience in various fields of law enforcement including violent crimes, death investigations, and officer involved shootings.

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