PORT ALLEN, La. (WAFB) - In the aftermath of a fatal deputy-involved shooting in Port Allen, Louisiana representatives of some branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) based in the state say they will stand with the family of the man killed, Josef Richardson, in any way they’re asked. Richardson, 38, was identified as the deceased by his loved ones.
Eugene Weatherspoon, president of the NAACP Baton Rouge Branch, says the organization has met with the family. He commended them for leading the charge for “transparency and answers.”
For Weatherspoon, transparency and answers revolve mostly around a single piece of information.
“The family should know by now whether Josef was armed or not,” said Weatherspoon. “Anything else is a failure on our justice system.”
Representatives from Louisiana State Police, which took over the investigation following the shooting, have said investigators are still gathering evidence and are not in a position to release information to the public.
“When [incidents] like this seemingly involve citizens, information flows much faster,” said Weatherspoon.
NAACP representatives will attend the first organized public appearance by Richardson’s family on Wednesday, July 31.
When questioned about why the NAACP chose to hold a public address rather than privately bring concerns to LSP to reach a solution for the family, Weatherspoon noted the NAACP is supporting the family, but not the primary group organizing the appearance. Additionally, he noted the appearance is not a protest.
Around 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, a West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy was serving a warrant at the Budget 7 Motel in Port Allen, LSP said. For reasons still under investigation the deputy discharged his weapon, fatally wounding a man he was serving a warrant to, according to LSP.
LSP to date has not released the name of the person killed during the shooting or the deputy. However, family identified Richardson as the person shot.
The West Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office released preliminary autopsy results Tuesday, July 30. Those documents show the man died from a gunshot wound to the back of the neck, which severed part of his spine.