Where Is The Mayor?
BATON ROUGE- Questions are being raised about why Mayor Kip Holden isn't more visible as the nation is watching what happened in Baton Rouge last Tuesday.
Aside from one press conference, Holden has been mostly absent from the public eye involving the shooting death of Alton Sterling which gained international attention.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016 was the last time the public got to hear from Kip Holden. It came 30 hours after Sterling was shot to death by a Baton Rouge Police officer. Since that shooting death, protesters have gathered around the nation demanding justice. The following days brought protests which turned violent. At least one Baton Rouge Police officer had teeth knocked out. The show of force, unprecedented in recent Baton Rouge history.
From the front lines of the protest, to City Hall, people marched and demonstrated to get the message out.
"Hey hey, ho ho, Kip Holden has got to go," they said.
Today, we went looking for Holden at City Hall.
"Is the Mayor in his office," Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto asked Holden's Chief Administrative Officer William Daniel.
"He is not," Daniel responded.
From City Hall to North Baton Rouge multiple police officers were parked on his street in front of his home. Some demonstrators even got arrested for showing up at his house over the weekend.
"I think he is needed now," Lt. General Russell Honore said. "We see local representatives walking the street. We need the mayor to step forward. For whatever reason, he's not doing it. The people speak."
General Russel Honore became internationally known after he restored order in New Orleans in the days following Hurricane Katrina. Tonight, Honore says it's time for Kip Holden to talk to the people.
"He leads this police force," Honore said. "He is the senior elected leader in this town. It's not the governor. The mayor of the city has certain constitutional responsibilities, and we hope the mayor wills up to that."
With protests continuing leading to the arrests of 200 people and with the Mayor mostly absent Honore is among those beginning to wonder who's running this town.
"It's a sign of absent leadership," Honore said. "We've seen the Mayor active before. We need him with the same enthusiasm that he takes to the Bayou Fest and to LSU games. We need him to be here today. This is a very uncomfortable issue."
We did reach Holden by phone. He said he has not abdicated his responsibilities as Mayor in any way. Holden says he's attended and been briefed on all meetings, but declined to do an on camera interview.
"If I do one with you, there will be 40 other people I have to interview with," Holden said.
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