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Town hall security video shows Nakamoto patiently waiting before arrest last week

8 months 1 week 3 days ago March 31, 2016 Mar 31, 2016 Thursday, March 31 2016 March 31, 2016 5:41 PM in News
Source: WBRZ

WHITE CASTLE - Security video obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit shows Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto patiently waiting for town officials before he was arrested last week.

The video was obtained through a public records request after Nakamoto was arrested by a White Castle Police officer for refusing to leave town hall. Workers said Nakamoto was causing a disturbance, and would not leave when asked. The town attorney told a Baton Rouge newspaper Nakamoto tried to go into restricted areas of the office. Security video shows that was not the case.

Nakamoto was at town hall on Wednesday, March 23, to review documents related to another public records request about the mayor's salary and benefits package.

Nakamoto was handcuffed and escorted to the police station where he was issued a summons to appear in mayor's court for trespassing.

The video was shown on Thursday's edition of WBRZ News 2 at 6:00 in a report by anchor and investigator Michael Shingleton.

Also Thursday, attorneys representing WBRZ and Nakamoto filed a motion to dismiss the charge and asked that White Castle officials be recused from the case.

"They don't need to have anything to do with this," attorney Lewis Unglesby said.

The recusal request accuses White Castle of being partial. Attached to court filings are pages of social media posts, attorneys said show bias against Nakamoto by both White Castle's mayor and the town attorney, Valencia Vessel-Landry.

"Vessel-Landry has already predetermined guilt... without a trial," attorneys wrote in the motion. "No one associated with the White Castle mayor's court can be considered neutral."

Nakamoto has been reporting on the mayor's benefits for months.

Unglesby's staff tried to file court documents directly with White Castle Thursday, and had to seek a higher court's assistance when town officials refused to accept them. An Iberville Parish judge had to issue a court-order, forcing White Castle officials to take the documents.

Unglesby also argues, the officer charged Nakamoto with a state charge and White Castle should not be able to prosecute.

"The Town of White Castle doesn't have jurisdiction on a state charge," he said.

Unglesby believes the town has four options: dismiss the case, recuse, set a hearing in district court or refer the matter to district court.

"To dismiss.. would be the smart one," he said. “I don't know what the financial capacity is of the Town of White Castle, but taking on statewide media is not a great idea,” he added.

Town hall security video shows Nakamoto patiently waiting befo...

The White Castle attorney said Chris Nakamoto WBRZ caused a disturbance and tried to go into restricted areas of the office. Security video shows that was not the case.STORY: http://www.wbrz.com/news/town-hall-security-video-shows-nakamoto-patiently-waiting-before-arrest-last-week

Posted by WBRZ Channel 2 on Thursday, March 31, 2016

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