Devin Tucker Has Been Found: Schizophrenic Man Was Beaten and Arrested by Police Called to Help Him in a Medical Crisis

This is an update of a story we reported on December 20, 2020.

Around 1 AM on December 17th, the Jefferson Parish Police Department was called to the Coroner’s Office to escort Devin Tucker to recieve medical help. They had been called because Devin Tucker was in a state of psychosis as a result of his schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Earlier that night he had gotten into an altercation with his girlfriend’s brother and mother. His mother, Shalon Tucker, had met up with him after the altercation and could tell that he was having a mental crisis. He was a day late on his injection treatment and he kept calling everyone the devil. 

Shalon Tucker contacted the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office and went there to fill out paperwork so she could get an Order of Protective Custody. Coroners can issue an Order of Protective Custody after hearing from a credible witness that a person is a danger to themselves or others. This order allows police officers to go retrieve mentally ill individuals and bring them to a medical site for evaluation. 

Devin drove to the Coroner’s Office to meet his mother. The Order of Protective Custody specified that he should be taken directly to West Jefferson Medical Center for immediate evaluation so the Jefferson Parish Police were called to escort him. 

The Jefferson Parish Police arrived to bring Devin to West Jefferson Medical Center, however, outside the Coroner’s Office they got into an altercation with him. They beat Devin up, slammed him to the ground, kicked him multiple times, and then arrested him. 

To clarify, they did not arrive at the Coroner’s Office with the intent of arresting Devin, rather they were supposed to just escort him to the medical center. They also were completely aware that  Devin was in a medical crisis. 

Jamal Anthony Taylor, co-founder of Stand Black and a respresentative of the Tucker family commented, “He was in a known state of medical emergency and they still treated him as a criminal.”


In this situation, it’s clear that crisis management strategies were passed over in favor of blunt, violent force. 

Instead of being taken directly to West Jefferson Medical Center as the order specified, Devin was transported to Gretna Jail. Shalon Tucker was only made aware of this after receiving a text at 10 AM the next day from an unknown number that belonged to a woman whose husband was in jail with Devin Tucker. The woman told Shalon that he was at Gretna Jail and that he had been beaten by the police. 

After receiving the text, Shalon started contacting the Jefferson Parish Police Department to find out about Devin’s whereabouts, briefly reaching him on the phone. When she talked to him he said, “Ma, they kicked me and slammed me to the ground outside the JP Coroner’s Office.” Then the phone cut off. 

The police told her that he was in was in custody on 3 charges of resisting arrest, marijuana possession, and a traffic attachment. Of course, the resisting arrest charges occurred outside the Coroner’s Office where he wasn’t even being picked up to be arrested, while the marijuana possession was discovered at the scene and the traffic attachment was later looked up. 

Shalon went to the jail where a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office nurse told her that they had done their own medical evaluation of Devin, in lieu of the evaluation he should have received at West Jefferson Medical Center. She said that the evaluation revealed nothing was wrong with him. 

Disputing this claim, Shalon told her that Devin had been diagnosed as schizophrenic and bipolar, and tried to give the nurse the Coroner’s paperwork and paperwork that explained his diagnosis, symptoms, and that he was due for an injection. The nurse would not take any of it. 

She also tried to give the nurse Devin’s doctor’s information so she could ask him about Devin’s diagnosis, but again, the nurse refused to take it. 

The next day Shalon went to go bail Devin out of JPSO custody and was told that he would be released by 7 PM. However, 7 PM passed and there was no sign of Devin. After 7 PM, Devin’s sister Brooke Whitaker called JPSO and was told they were waiting on the bail bondsman to sign the release. 

They then revealed that there was a 7-10 day hold on him because there was a warrant out for his arrest in Orleans Parish. Upon looking into it, Shalon found there was no warrant out for Devin Tucker’s arrest in Orleans Parish. 

They subsequently lied in writing that he had been turned over to the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office on Friday. This claim has been proven completely false through testimony from Devin that he was only ever with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. The NOPD also clarified that they never had Devin. 

It wasn’t until today the Shalon Tucker knew where her son was, spending much of the weekend fearing the worst. 

Devin Tucker was dropped off at the West Jefferson Medical Center early on Saturday morning and then was moved by ambulance to this East Jefferson Medical Center. His family and mother were not contacted about him being dropped off or moved by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. 

Commenting on this, Jamal Anthony Taylor said, “So the experience of black people is we have to do our own investigations to find what happens with our children. This mother and family have been put in the position of having to go and search for her son when she went and did everything humanly possible to protect him and get him care in his crisis” he elaborated, “When someone is in a medical crisis you take them to the hospital not the jailhouse.”

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