Latest Weather Blog
Small town shaken up after police officer's arrest
INDEPENDENCE - A police officer's arrest in Tangipahoa Parish sent waves through the small town of Independence.
Laquinton Banks, 25, faces theft, malfeasance and hate crime charges after his arrest Monday. Investigators say he stole $1,600 from non-English speaking Hispanic motorists during traffic stops.
"I was stunned. I was really stunned about this. I'm speechless really," said resident James Conley. "He seemed to be a pretty decent officer, and if this would have never happened I would have never believed anything like this about him."
Banks was only with the Independence Police Department for five months before the arrest. The investigation began just before Christmas when the Independence Police Department heard of complaints through the "grape vine," according to Police Chief Frank Edwards.
"Well of course you never want to believe that, but at the same time we had an obligation to look into it," he said.
Now both law enforcement and residents in the small town hope the negative tone surrounding the arrest will fade away.
"You know I never thought that this kind of thing would happen in my community, and it's a bad reflection on the police department as well as the citizens here in this town," said Conley.
Investigators believe there may be more victims.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Baker School Board approves teacher raises during Tuesday evening meeting
New bill adds option to donate bone marrow to state registration
Third graders who fail new reading test three times will not advance...
'We were set up for failure:' White Castle Police Department runs out...
Man beaten to death in Baton Rouge was father of officer killed...
LSU blasts 4 homers in 13-7 win over Oregon State to advance...
LSU baseball prepares for NCAA Regional play
LSU, Tulane to meet in first round of Baton Rouge Regional as...
LSU president reminisces during team trip to DC
Southern baseball sweeps Arkansas-Pine Bluff to finish out regular season