Two former black police officers with the Baton Rouge Police Department were accused of abuse of power back in 2014, Civil Service Board denied reemployment in June 2017.
According to WBRZ News, Travis Wheeler, Emerson Jackson, and Issac Bolden were accused of “going up to a man and woman in a car at a BREC park and telling the man to leave.” The woman claims she was then forced to perform a sex act on Bolden while the other two watched.
A trial by jury found all three men not guilty back in January.
After their indictments, BRPD Chief Carl Dabadie pledged to do right by the community.
“There are always bad apples in the group. My job as an administrator is to find those bad apples and serve them with the discipline and whatever law they may break,” said Dabadie in November of 2014.<——-this comment was made prior to an investigation..
So the question is, why wasn’t these officers jobs given back to them after being found not guilty?
The Civil Service Board is comprised of members of the community, first responders, and elected officials.
After more than half a dozen witnesses, including the accuser, Chief Dabadie, Wheeler, and Jackson, testified, the board backed the chief’s decision to fire them in a 5-1 vote.
So my question remains, what was so compelling that these two officers were fired after being acquitted of criminal activity?
Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake, two white police officers, have been on paid leave for over a year for the shooting of Alton Sterling.
According to The Department of Justice,”the videos do not show Sterling’s right hand at the time those shots were fired, they show that Sterling’s right hand was not under Officer Salamoni’s control. The evidence also cannot establish that Sterling was not reaching for a gun when Officer Salamoni yelled that Sterling was doing so.”
The investigators also concluded that Salamoni’s second series of shots were reasonable.
Although the videos show that Sterling’s right hand was not in or near his right pocket, he continued to move after being shot, despite Lake’s commands not to, the Justice Department said.
Meanwhile, Salamoni was lying on the ground next to Sterling, facing his back.
“Given these circumstances, the evidence cannot establish beyond a reasonable doubt that it did not appear to Officer Salamoni that Sterling was reaching for his pocket,” the Justice Department said.
Mayor President Sharon Broome issued a public letter to the police chief
, May 25, 2017, stating that he terminate the officers who killed Alton Sterling due to the “disturbing details surrounding the actions of Officer Salamoni”. The Mayor continued by stating, ” I was shocked and appalled by this information. From what was described to both of us
, I believe Officer Salamoni seriously violated established police policy and procedures to the extent that termination is warranted”.
The Police Chief responded stating that it would be “improper” and “premature” to discipline either officer while the criminal investigation is pending.
So my question remains, what was so compelling that these two officers were able to KEEP their job?
Many Questions are looming..
Why wasn’t the 2 black officers put on paid administrative leave until an investigation was complete?
Why wasn’t the 2 black officers rehired after all charges were acquitted?
Why wasn’t the two white officers fired after the video surfaced and eye witnesses reported the 2 officers didn’t have just cause to wrestle and kill Alton Sterling?
Why wasn’t the two white officers fired immediately after the Mayor-President and the Chief of Police were given private information of where the 2 officers violated police policy?
In order to move our city forward we must have difficult and transparent conversations. Politics have corrupted and blinded the truth for so long in our city and today we need to step forward and say enough is enough.
It’s time for all races to sit at the table and listen to each other. Our city has endured too much blood shed and injustices from all sides. The constant race wars are not the example we need to set for our children.
I have given you my suggestions and now the ball is in your court…..
What are your thoughts??