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Scathing letter sent to sheriff after deputy under investigation returns to work

4 years 8 months 1 week ago Monday, September 09 2019 Sep 9, 2019 September 09, 2019 5:36 PM September 09, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

PORT ALLEN- Attorneys representing the family of Josef Richardson, the man who was shot and killed over the summer by a West Baton Rouge Parish deputy, sent a scathing letter to Sheriff Mike Cazes calling those actions an insult.

Richardson was killed at the Budget 7 motel as Vance Matranga was executing a no-knock warrant searching for drugs. An autopsy revealed Richardson was shot in the back of the neck.

"What you have is a very fractured community and a sense of not feeling safe within their own community by the persons charged with serving and protecting the community," Attorney Dedrick Moore said.

Moore sent a letter to Cazes asking to see policies for administrative leave for personnel involved in ongoing criminal investigations.

"Your action to allow him back at work at this time is an insult and highly questionable," the letter to Cazes states.

Monday, a spokesman for the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office said Matranga would not be allowed to carry a gun while on duty or at work. That goes against what they said last week when a spokesman said he could carry his own gun, calling it his "God-given right."

A spokesman also said Matranga does not have a sheriff's unit. That goes against what they said last week saying Matranga had been issued a sheriff's car. 

The sheriff's office says the policies about administrative leave are also under review. They claim that has been underway since before Richardson was killed but did not say what led to the policies needing to be reviewed.

"When you put an individual back out there that's under criminal investigation when we have not seen any reports whatsoever, it creates an unsafe environment and sends a disturbing message back to the community," Moore said.

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