Police look to ID culprits behind East Ascension HS graduation fight
GONZALES - Police in Gonzales are reviewing cell phone video in hopes of identifying the individuals behind a fight that erupted at the East Ascension High School graduation.
Authorities said students were not involved in the conflict, which was comprised of family members or friends who were watching from the stands.
Gonzales Police officers who were on the scene detained two suspects, but they were eventually cleared of wrongdoing. According to officers, the individuals who started the fight and other participants quickly dispersed when police became involved.
Now, investigators are working closely with East Ascension High School administration to collect videos of the fight so that the culprits can be identified. Once identification is made, Gonzales PD says arrests will be forthcoming.
Chief Sherman Jackson says he hopes that any arrests made also serve as a lesson for the community in the wake of the brawl.
“Seeing video footage of this incident has angered me. Adults, who should know better, detracted from the achievements of area graduates. They should be ashamed. We urge anyone with information to come forward,” said Chief Jackson. “People must be held accountable for what happened, and incidents such as these will not be tolerated in our city. Young people worked for four years to have a brief moment of recognition at their graduation ceremony. To have that moment turned into this is inexcusable.”
Chief Jackson also asked that members of the community stop sharing videos of the incident on social media platforms.
“The sharing of videos made of this incident only serves to highlight this behavior,” said Jackson. “I ask instead that on social media, people celebrate their family members who earned the right to receive their diplomas last night. Let’s showcase those achievements instead of the people who set out to detract from them.”
News 2 will get the chance to speak with Chief Jackson this morning. Expect more details on WBRZ.com and on our evening broadcasts starting at 4 p.m.