On Wednesday local civil rights activists called for the resignation of Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal in a press conference at Zion Hill Christian fellowship in New Iberia.
Reverend Victor White Sr., father of Victor White III who died while in police custody in March last year says, “They’re still saying it was suicide, and we still know that he didn’t kill himself.”
Reverend Raymond Brown, President of National Action Now says, “Michael Jones was murdered he was beat to death… swallowed his own blood. We know these things are happening”
Lafayette Attorney John Milton says White and Jones are just two of several police brutality cases in Iberia Parish. “As a lawyer you’d be surprised how many complaints come to me and people want to get something done but because of whether it’s police immunity I have to explain to them the law.”
Rev. White Sr. Says it’s time for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal to step down. “Since he’s been in office in 2008 out of the ten deaths that occurred they were in police custody so, they’re still not taking responsibility neither have they taken responsibility for the death for the death of my son.”
Takuna El Shabazz with the Community Council of Black Elders (CCBE) says the injustice has to stop. “Where there is the absence of justice the absence of peace is negated by natural law.”
But activists didn’t just speak out about the alleged corruption of local law enforcement; they also discussed solutions.
Denise Gobert with Peace for MLK says, “We’re working on getting justice, transparency, accountability so that there is no more impunity with our law enforcement agencies.”
Reverend James Self of Baton Rouge has a strong message for community leaders and the younger generation. “Get involved in the process show up, vote. Don’t just sit around and have Facebook, Instagram and Twitter conversations about the problems because if you’re only complaining about the issue but not speaking to the issue and not addressing the issue directly then you are part of the problem.”
Sheriff Ackal said in a statement that he will not resign.