Family calls for transparency, peace after deadly deputy-involved shooting; State Police issue new statement
PORT ALLEN - Many family members of Josef Richardson, the man who was shot to death by a WBRSO deputy last week, were in tears as they approached the podium to speak publicly about the shooting that killed their loved one Wednesday.
Nationally known civil rights attorney Ben Crump stood by the family's side. Crump represented Trayvon Martin's family in Florida when Martin was killed by a neighborhood watchman.
"A bullet to the back of the head what else needs to be said," Crump said at the podium in Port Allen..
Standing alongside attorneys and members of the NAACP, Richardson's family asked that State Police be completely transparent throughout their investigation. Family members have repeatedly said they're appalled that LSP never addressed them at the scene of the shooting, nor have they yet to do so.
Richardson's family requests an honest, open investigation, free of any violence. They want to get to the bottom of what happened in the motel room of the Budget 7 Motel in Port Allen where Richardson was shot in the back of the neck, severing his spinal cord.
His daughter took the podium and was emotional as she told the crowd, "He didn't deserve to be killed...especially the way he was. I can't sleep knowing there was no justice for my daddy."
State Police released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:
"The Louisiana State Police is committed to conducting a thorough, independent and impartial investigation. However, the investigative process takes time. There is no room for error when we are working to gather all of the facts. The premature release of information can in fact affect the totality of the investigation. We have full confidence in our investigative team and the integrity they bring to the investigation. We are asking for patience as we continue this process. At the conclusion of the investigation, our findings will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office."
The ACLU also released a statement on the situation Wednesday:
“Once again, another human life has been lost due to the use of deadly force by the police. The shooting death of Josef Richardson demands a comprehensive and transparent investigation, and points to the need for systemic reform in the West Baton Rouge Police Department [sic]. Law enforcement officers must be trained in de-escalation and should never serve as anyone’s judge, jury and executioner. We will continue to stand with Josef’s family and the West Baton Rouge community as they demand accountability and reform.”