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Officer's cases under review after racist texts

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BATON ROUGE - Cases pending in two different courts are under review after the WBRZ News 2 Investigative Unit exposed racist text messages allegedly sent by a Baton Rouge Police officer to another person.

The messages caused Michael Elsbury, a 15-year veteran, to resign from the department.

District Attorney Hillar Moore and prosecutors in City Court are reviewing Elsbury's cases this week. Moore says there were nine to eleven cases under review by his office. City Court could not provide a number, but called the volume "large" and said the majority of Elsbury's cases went through City Court.

"For our credibility, we need to make sure we have a case based on law and solid facts, not because of someone pulling someone over because of race color or creed," Moore said.

The messages Elsbury allegedly sent referred to African Americans as the "n" word, monkeys and it was alleged he enjoyed arresting people in saggy pants.

Moore says his office immediately began looking into the issue as soon as he was made aware of the situation. Two weeks ago civil rights activists including Rev. Al Sharpton and Attorney Ben Crump called for the review.

"Our obligation is to be fair," Moore said. "We will look at whatever is presented to us and see where we are. Generally officers work in pairs of two, not one. So we have to look at all the facts and be fair."

Moore says the review by his office is almost complete. However, City Court could not provide a time line of how long it would take due to the large number of cases.


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