Community leaders demand answers from NOPD - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Community leaders demand answers from NOPD

New Orleans -- It's been almost a week since NOPD officer Jason Coclough shot and killed 20-year-old Wendell Allen. The NOPD later determined that Allen was not armed.  Police were serving a drug search warrant on a home in the 2600 block of Prentiss street when it happened.

Now, community activists and attorney Tracie Washington are demanding answers from the NOPD and the city.

"I suppose one of the most pressing questions involves why this officer has not been questioned.  Frankly, it is a lack of transparency by NOPD and its failure to do what is best practices of any police department of this country, which is to question a police officer who is involved in a shooting," said Washington at a news conference Tuesday.

The NOPD admits, Officer Coclough has not submitted to being interviewed yet. The NOPD also says it cannot force anyone to give a statement.

Raymond Burkart is the spokesperson for the Fraternal Order of Police. He says that, 72 hours after this type of incident, the officer and his attorney are contacted to do an interview.

"We need that cooling-off period. There is counseling that is required by the department. The department does not just sit on its hands and wait to see. It is only trying to counsel the officer and also find out what exactly happened," says Burkart.

Washington says she's sent public records requests to the NOPD.  Those requests are for every officer's name involved in the incident, the department's policy on ‘use of force' and its policy on the waiting period an officer is given before being interviewed by investigators.

"We are prepared to take action and that's litigation and community organizing. The litigation will come if we are not in receipt of this information that we requested by no later than close of business [Wednesday]," says Washington.

Burkart says no one should rush to judgment about what happened.  "It's being investigated by at least three different divisions of the New Orleans Police Department.  At least two FBI agents are in the Public Integrity Bureau, as well as monitoring by the independent police monitor. There are a lot of people looking at this and they are going to get it right," says Burkart.
Powered by Frankly