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Real Cops vs. Craft and company update

Tue, Sep 18, 2012

Off The Beat

Last week we learned that a Federal Judge ordered a gag order on September 5th against all parties involved in a contentious federal lawsuit filed by a group of former and current Lafayette police officers against the Lafayette City Police Department.

Shortly after the gag was in place, two of the officers involved in the suit against the department were fired, another retired which we covered in our article last week “Fired? Retired? Gagged!”.

The two officers who were terminated are Lieutenant Greg Cormier, who started his employment there in June of 1990, and Corporal Scott Poiencot who’s been with Lafayette Police since July of 2002. In addition, a third officer involved in the suit, Gabe Thompson reportedly retired last week.

On Friday, the plaintiff’s attorneys reportedly argued that Lafayette City Police Department officials retaliated against three of the officers suing the department by firing those officers last week.

The defense argued that lifting the gag order will make it difficult to seat an impartial jury as the plaintiffs air allegations in the media.

The plaintiffs, on the other hand, argued the public has a vested interest in following the lawsuit, which claims some of the top brass in Lafayette City Police Department and in the local government fostered a widespread culture of corruption within the department.

Shortly before 5 yesterdaty, Federal Magistrate Judge Patrick Hanna reportedly ordered that the website www.realcopsvcraft.com has to come down immediately. C’est what?

The website contains six secretly recorded conversations that I am sure many of you have heard on either KLFY TV-10’s series LPD Uncovered or on our series of links to videos below.

Some of the recordings (re-published on YouTube by BIA) include an incident allegedly involving an off-duty Lafayette City Police Officer Jeremy Dupuis being found in the McDonald parking lot armed and impaired.

Here is the 911 call on October 4, 2011 regarding the Dupuis incident.

James ‘Jim’ Craft leaving the Federal Court House today with what appears to be a boo-day lip where Judge Patrick Hanna ordered that the website www.realcopsvcraft.com
has to come down immediately. We’ll have more shortly on new developments in the case dubbed Real Cops vs. Craft.

On January 18, 2012, Chief James ‘Jim’ Craft and his top guns met to discuss the Jeremy Dupuis incident. What the top brass at the department didn’t expect was the following recordings would later find their way to the internet.

On August 2nd, 2012 Baton Rouge Attorneys, Stephen Spring and Chris Allexander hand delivered a letter to Lafayette Parish District Attorney Mike Harson asking him and possibly the Attorney General to launch investigations into the alleged cover up of the Jeremy Dupuis incident. The Attorneys also cited where the Springfield Mayor and Chief of Police are being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office for allegedly covering up a DWI.

In an email request to Harson on August 3rd, we asked the District Attorney the following:

Care to go on record with comments regarding the letter sent you from Attorneys Stephen Spring and Chris Alexander yesterday?

A copy of the letter can be found here,
http://www.scribd.com/doc/101937004/2-August-2012-Letter-to-Michael-Harson

A copy of Exhibit A can be found here,
http://www.scribd.com/doc/101937053/Microsoft-Word-Springfield-Mayor-and-Chief-of-Police-Indicted-Exhibit-A.

In an email received back from Lafayette District Attorney to BIA , Mike Harson said, “I am in the process of reviewing all the documents to decide whether there are legitimate criminal charges and, if so, which option I wish to follow.”

On the same day, the Attorneys filed another law suit in district court asking the court to force Lafayette City Police Department officials to turn over ALL PUBLIC RECORDS regarding the Dupuis incident.

Apparently The Advocate was able to obtain some of these records because on August 19th, 2012 they reported, A Lafayette police officer who was found “in an impaired condition” and passed out behind the wheel of his car in October was transported home at the direction of a supervisor.

The Advocate goes on to say we were able to obtain records (Docket Number 141396) that fit with one of the incidents that a group of current and former officers described in a federal lawsuit as among the alleged cover-ups by Lafayette Police Department of wrongdoing by some officers.

The police report says Officer Dustin Lavergne responded to the McDonald’s on Johnston Street near the University of Louisiana at Lafayette at 5:50 a.m., where he found a “known officer of Lafayette Police Department … in an impaired condition.”

The report does not identify the officer, referring to him only as “the officer in question.”

When we requested the same public documents (Docket Number 141396) from Lafayette City Prosecutor Gary Haynes, he quickly lawyered up stating, “This matter is now in litigation and I must get it approved by city counsel Joy Rabalais at borne and Wilkes law firm.”

We’re told the Judge Patrick Hanna also ordered to allow civil service complaints to be heard as well as the suit filed in district court alleging the Lafayette City Police Department and Lafayette City Prosecutors office failed to respond to public records request regarding the Jeremy Dupuis incident.

 

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