Advocates demand change one year after killing of Josef Richardson
PORT ALLEN- It's been one year since Josef Richardson was shot in the back of the neck inside a Port Allen motel by West Baton Rouge Deputy Vance Matranga.
Matranga was executing a warrant when he shot Richardson. Following an investigation, he returned to work and was cleared of any criminal responsibility tied to the shooting.
Richardson's death touched off a series of rallies outside the West Baton Rouge Parish Courthouse and caught the attention of national civil rights attorney Ben Crump. Crump attended some of those rallies as the community pushed for change.
"We've asked for an independent investigation into these matters," Attorney Ron Haley said. "That hasn't happened. We've asked for body cameras. Those have not happened. Nothing has changed. It's 365 days later, and nothing has changed since that horrific evening."
Ron Haley is representing loved ones of Josef Richardson in a civil case against the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office. This week, Richardson's girlfriend also filed a lawsuit in federal court against all parties involved.
When we spoke to Richardson's family last year, his mother wanted the truth.
"I've lived there my whole life," Maudess Sandra Douglas said last year following her son's killing. "I'm 74 years old, and I just made a birthday the other day. And I know how these people are over here in Port Allen."
Richardson's shooting death touched off community-wide demands for justice. Rallies were held outside the West Baton Rouge Courthouse. Despite the movement for change that is currently sweeping the nation, nothing has changed in Port Allen.
"We need systematic change, and it starts with transparency and accountability," Haley said.
We reached out to the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office for a comment on this story. A spokesman said they could not comment due to the pending litigation.
A news conference is scheduled with lawyers and family members for Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
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