HOMER, La. – Police Chief Van McDaniel, arrested less than 24 hours prior, swiftly returned to duty and attributed his brief incarceration to political motives.
Despite facing criminal charges, McDaniel expressed his determination to continue working. As an elected official, he can only be ousted from office through conviction of a felony or resignation.
Arrested on Monday morning for aggravated battery and malfeasance in office, both classified as felony offenses, McDaniel’s charges stem from an arrest in December. Gregory Moak, the apprehended individual, accused McDaniel and several officers of excessive force, leading to a federal lawsuit filed in February. Moak alleges he was tased by McDaniel while handcuffed and on the ground.
Denying the allegations, McDaniel asserted, “There was no excessive force used.” He added, “Politics, that’s what it’s really about. … Revenge politics because I ran for sheriff against (Sheriff) Sam Dowies.”
McDaniel, the town’s first Black elected police chief, recently participated in the sheriff’s race. In a three-man contest, where Dowies and retired trooper Michael Allen also competed, McDaniel secured the third position. Despite this, McDaniel has endorsed Allen in the upcoming Nov. 18 runoff against Dowies.