On Tuesday members of the local NAACP and residents addressed the Lafayette City Parish Council at their meeting. The group raised concerns about crime and racism among other issues.
Those issues include lack of diversity within the Lafayette Police Department and what some are calling inadequate disciplinary action against an LPD officer who was caught on tape using a racial slur to refer to an African American co-worker.
Retired officer Andres Landor filed the formal complaint: “He subconsciously reacted by referring to this individual by this name (racial slur) and did not even realize he was still on the phone with an African American coworker”.
Landor asked the council to review the investigation and take appropriate action. “Individuals who express themselves through bigotry and hatred have no place in law enforcement.”
Marja Broussard, President of the NAACP Lafayette branch was among those who addressed the council. She asked them “Am I to be comfortable with an officer like that stopping my son or my daughter? This should be the post racism era, we’re in 2015…we know what that word means the under stones…it was hatred it was vile.”
Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft says he’s unable to comment on matters concerning personnel and internal affairs but says those matters are not taken lightly. “Each case is taken on its own merits and the disciplinary action that is handed out we do are due diligence before we hand out disciplinary action and human resources from the city was sitting right there at the table with us the officers chain of command is sitting there.”
Chief Craft adds that the department is also working towards improving diversity. “We are doing additional training in the police department we have instructed a training unit to schedule cultural diversity training for the entire department myself included.”