Internal investigation underway into New Roads Police officer's actions
NEW ROADS- An internal investigation is underway tonight over allegations of racial profiling during a traffic stop last week.
The family of Kendal Davis claims their son was pulled over for a burned out light on his car. What happened next led to a full on search of the car complete with a drug dog. Officers found nothing inside Davis' car.
Tonight, the family wants to know what the probable cause was for them to search his car, after they claim he told them they couldn't.
"We don't need to protest," Dr. Monica Fabre, Kendal Davis' mom said. "We don't need to riot when something terrible happens. We need to invoke change now."
Davis is an honor student at ULL with no criminal record. His mom said his list of accomplishments include being an AmeriCorps member, and being the former NAACP President of his college chapter. He also was on the Student Government Association.
"You read someone their Miranda warning when you are about to take them to jail," Fabre said. "To go from a headlight being out to an expired inspection sticker calling you to the back of the car, what's your probable cause for asking him out of the car? What's the probable cause to search for drugs?"
Tonight, New Roads Police Chief Kevin McDonald said an internal investigation is underway into the way Officer Tate Slocum handled the traffic stop. The Investigative Unit has learned he's only been on the New Roads Police Department for about three months.
Last year, in another one of our investigations we showed you nearly half of the New Roads Police Department was not POST certified. That certification is required by many law enforcement agencies across the state and nation. Tonight, Davis' attorney is demanding an explanation over the police department's actions.
"It appears this officer was on a fishing expedition, not necessarily concerned about the reason he stopped the vehicle," Attorney Tom Nelson said. "He had a greater mission he was on... and violated his civil rights."
Attorney Tom Nelson believes Davis was racially profiled. When the family raised concerns to the New Roads Police Department, they say high ranking members of the department offered to "take care" of the ticket to make this go away.
"You cannot violate someone's civil rights... and say just bring us the ticket... we'll fix it," Fabre said. "I don't want you to fix the ticket. I want to pay the violation he committed. But, you have to make it right by violating and infringing on his civil rights."
The family intends to file a federal lawsuit in the coming days to prevent this from ever happening again.
It's unclear how long the internal investigation will take.