Sheriff says deputy never pointed weapon at woman pulled over

Published 12:08 am Wednesday, July 15, 2015

LAPLACE — St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said he is confident officer Steven Daley, who is listed as a defendant along with Tregre in a lawsuit filed by a LaPlace resident, will be cleared of allegations he pointed a gun in a woman’s face during a traffic stop.

Enjoli Stipe, represented by attorney Nghana Lewis Gauff, filed suit June 3 with the St. John Parish Clerk of Court. According to court documents, Tregre is being sued “for maintaining a custom of knowingly employing officers who use threatening, terrorizing and intimidating tactics when stopping citizens for alleged traffic violations.”

According to the lawsuit, Daley pointed a weapon in Stipe’s face and threatened to kill her during a May 28 traffic stop for alleged speeding, during which Daley — according to Stipe — told her “don’t play with me. I’ll shoot you. I’ll arrest you and take you in and think nothing of it.”

Stipe said she immediately called 911 after driving away from the traffic stop.

“I feel like I should bring it to the attention of the court and public because I believe it’s been done to many other people,” said Stipe, who was alone in her car when the traffic stop occurred.

“No gun was ever pointed at her,” Tregre said. “It was a Taser. Deputy Daley has made 253 traffic stops in 2015 and there have been no complaints except this one.”

Tregre said while some patrol cars are equipped with dash cameras, Daley’s car was not. Tregre did add, however, Daley recorded the second half of the traffic stop on another recording device.

“She tried to close his arm in the window,” Tregre said. “That’s when he pulled out the Taser.”

Because “Defendant Daley’s conduct was of a criminal nature and constituted an aggravated assault with a weapon,” Stipe is seeking damages — which she says exceeds $50,000 — stemming from her suffering of “severe emotional distress and anxiety, depression, asthma attacks, nightmares and sleepless.”

Tregre said Stipe was issued a speeding citation and has a court date pending, adding Daley used no profanity and never cuffed or ordered Stipe out of the vehicle.

Tregre said he is requesting the case be transferred to federal court, because Stipe is citing violation of federal rights.