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Walker police officer resigns after placing noose in squad room

4 months 4 days 4 hours ago Wednesday, March 22 2017 Mar 22, 2017 March 22, 2017 6:17 PM March 22, 2017 in News
Source: WBRZ

WALKER- A high-ranking Walker Police officer has resigned after he was suspended for placing a noose inside the squad room of the department.

A meeting to review the officer's conduct and consider further disciplinary action was scheduled for Wednesday, however it was cancelled after the officer announced his resignation that same afternoon.

The sergeant was originally suspended for three days without pay before returning to his job last week.

Walker Police Chief David Addison says the case has been handed over to the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office for criminal investigation.

The noose was discovered last week after security footage revealed the officer had left the noose hanging in the department's squad room. The officer then admitted to placing it there.

"We looked at [security video] to see who did it," Police Chief Addison said. "We found the officer who was responsible."

Addison declined to identify the officer, but said he's been with the department for about a decade.

Addison is new on the job. He's only been chief for three months. When he talked with WBRZ about the situation last week, he acknowledged he'd like the officer off the force.

"I recommended to my assistant chief that we should fire him, but he said let's take this step first," Addison said.

The assistant chief is an African American.  A lieutenant, who is also black, found the noose.

Louisiana law RS 14:40.5 prohibits a noose in a public place. Anyone convicted faces up to a $5,000 fine and one year in prison or both.

After realizing the law when speaking with the Investigative Unit, Walker Police asked Attorney General Jeff Landry's Office to investigate. Wednesday, a spokeswoman there said she couldn't comment.

Going forward, the chief said he would monitor the sergeant's work closely. The officer's body camera footage was to be monitored weekly and a secondary officer would oversee traffic stops the officer in question made if the driver was not white.

"Whether they're white, black or oriental, we have a mixture here in Walker," Addison said. "Everyone, I don't care if you're white, black, oriental, you will be treated fairly by my officers.

The Investigative Unit obtained paperwork regarding the incident. The lieutenant who found the noose reported, "You informed me that you fashioned the noose, or as you called it, the 'slip knot,' to pick with an arrestee that you had in custody...It was revealed to me via our department's video cameras, that there was no arrestee present when you fashioned and displayed the cookie and noose in the squad room."

"This will not be tolerated period," Addison said. "This was poor judgment, bad character. It will not be tolerated with the Walker Police Department."

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