May 26, 2010 3:37 PM by Melissa Canone
The Lafayette Police Department has released the findings of an Internal Investigation regarding an incident that occurred on Mardi Gras day, on February 19, 2010. The investigation determined that the focus officer in the incident violated Departmental Policy. Specifically, those policies pertaining to "Handling of prisoners and use of tactics not taught or authorized by the Lafayette Police Department". In addition, the 5 other officers on scene will participate in a debriefing of the incident to discuss lessons learned in regards to controlling the crowd and the rights of citizens to photograph and video in public.
Because the incident is a personnel matter, specifics about the disciplinary action taken against the officer cannot be released. The case was submitted to the District Attorney's Office for review as is common practice in these types of investigations. The District Attorney's Office determined there was no criminal intent regarding the officer's actions.
Investigators with the District Attorney's Office worked closely with the family in bringing this matter to a conclusion. The cooperation of the family played a major role in resolving the issues involved in the incident. In addition, all officers within the Lafayette Police Department will undergo training regarding the use of video and camera devices by citizens and the proper method of collecting such items as evidence.
Video Sparks Investigation Surrounding Mardi Gras Incident
Original Release: February 22, 2010 @ 11:00 pm
On February 19, 2010, at approximately 5:00 pm, the Lafayette Police Department was made aware of a video posted on CNN i-report regarding an incident that occurred February 16, 2010, (Mardi Gras Day) in downtown Lafayette. The video displayed the actions of several officers with the Lafayette Police Department regarding their handling of an incident involving multiple young people. Specifically, an officer raising his voice and shaking a female being detained. Chief Jim Craft has ordered an immediate criminal and administrative investigation into the incident. The officer in the video has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. There will be no further comment on the incident until the investigation is concluded.