BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The NAACP Baton Rouge and Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus issued a letter Monday, March 15, to formally demand that a special board be appointed to provide community oversight of the Baton Rouge Police Department Narcotics Division.
The request comes amid an ongoing probe following the arrests of two officers in the division. The board would be appointed and consist of staff from the district attorney’s office, City-Parish Attorney’s Office, BRPD, East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, members of the community, a representative from the Metro Council, and representatives of the NAACP, Baton Rouge Office of the Public Defender, ACLU of Louisiana, Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, and Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
The groups have also demanded a formal and thorough review of all cases that resulted from investigations or actions by the division.
The NAACP stated, “... there must be community oversight in order to guarantee transparency and accountability from all parties, and to begin to build trust between the people and police.”
Cpl. Jeremiah Ardoin was arrested in February for allegedly purchasing stolen electronics. The Advocate reported that Ardoin tipped off investigators that another person in the narcotics division should be investigated. The tip led to the arrest of Cpl. Jason Acree, who is accused of stealing drugs that were seized as evidence.
In early March, four high-ranking detectives of the 12-person department were reassigned, according to a report by The Advocate. A source within the department confirmed the names of those transferred as Sgt. Drew White, Lt. Jeff Pittman, Sgt. Shane Mouch, and Sgt. Seth Sinclair when contacted by WAFB-TV. The source said the four men who were transferred have not been accused of any wrongdoing.
Click here to report a typo.