BR Police Chief responds to Farrakhan ad

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A campaign commercial in the race for East Baton Rouge Mayor-President, criticizes Baton Rouge police officers joining state police in escorting Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan from the New Orleans airport to Southern University in Baton Rouge.

After our I-Team and others asked for information, BRPD Chief Dewayne White sent a letter to members of the media.

In it the Chief says, "Only one Baton Rouge Police officer accompanied State Police."

The Chief also sent an email explaining things.

"I made the decision, after intelligence information, to send our SRT commander to New Orleans to ensure the fluid movement of the principal to Baton Rouge," Chief White writes. "That was the only Baton Rouge asset used for this detachment."

"There were no overtime dollars associated with this mission and its sole purpose was to ensure the protection of an individual of international prominence while in our fair city," White continues in the email obtained by WAFB News.

WAFB I-Team sources tell us that parts of the Chief's account may not be entirely accurate.

We sent this formal public records request to the Chief and his staff to obtain what's called a "duty roster". We also asked for any overtime hours associated with the event and the total cost to the department.

The police department did receive our public records request, but decided to change things up a little bit and hand it off to the Mayor's office to respond. The Mayor's office denied the request. They sent the request denial not to WAFB, but in an unusual move, they mailed it to what they thought was the home address of WAFB reporter Greg Meriwether.

Meriwether states he never received the letter at his home.

WAFB's I-Team requested, a copy of the Mayor's response letter was faxed to WAFB news Friday.

The Mayor's office denied the request for the detailed information saying they did not want to release sensitive information about how police deal with terrorist-related activity.

While reporter Greg Meriwether and crew were filming part of the television version of this story outside of police headquarters, the police chief himself walked out and spoke with Meriwether

"I don't know if there was any overtime," White clarified.

"If there was any overtime, it would be minimal. It would be minuscule at best."

White speaking with WAFB's Greg Meriwether continued with this, "I'll tell you what Greg, if there was overtime, it was so minuscule I'll make this promise. I'll pay it out of my pocket. How about that," White asked?

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.