Family, activist meet about alleged brutality

March 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm Leave a comment

BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

The family members of a man arrested recently on rape and murder charges rallied against perceived “harassment and brutality from law enforcement in the Lake Charles area.”

About 20 family members and friends of Marlin James Jenkins held a private meeting Monday that they had previously announced would be open to the public.

Jenkins was indicted March 5 on three counts of aggravated rape and one count of second-degree murder.

The American Press was not allowed into the meeting, but spokesmen for the family talked to the newspaper before the session began.

“The Jenkins family contacted us because of an alleged false arrest and abuse during the arrest of Mr. Jenkins,” said George Fisher, chairman of the Louisiana chapter of the National Action Network.

The family reportedly filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department against the Lake Charles Police Department. Jacqualine Sonnier, Jenkins’ aunt, alleges that on the day of his arrest the suspect was beaten and is now blind in one eye.

Sonnier said Jenkins did not receive medical attention until she spoke with an assistant warden at Calcasieu Correctional Center, and there has not been a followup.

Officials at Calcasieu Correctional Center said no “apparent injuries or complaints of injuries” are listed in Jenkin’s health screening, which is performed at intake.

“His medical file has a past history of treatment of eye problems, including a detached retina,” said Darren Boyd, assistant warden at CCC. “The only self-initiated medical request he submitted was for tooth pain.”

Sonnier stated she is concerned about the circumstances of the arrest.

“I spoke with Detective (Frank) Fondel, and those stories are not adding up,” Sonnier said.

“He’s not responding to us, and the information we have gotten is not accurate,” she said.

Sgt. Mark Kraus, a spokesman for the Lake Charles Police Department, said he was not aware of the meeting until contacted by the media for comment.

He released the following statement:
“Chief (Don) Dixon has the utmost respect for the integrity of the investigations that Detective Fondel is involved in. Members of the administration, including myself and Chief Dixon, were at the scene at 333 Mill St. when the defendant was arrested. Chief Dixon personally advised Marlin Jenkins of his Miranda warnings and his entire body, to include his face, was photographed within one minute after his arrest.
‘‘Immediately following the arrest, he (Jenkins) was taken to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital to retrieve a DNA sample, and he never once complained.”

link: http://bit.ly/aiXoCh

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