NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Five New Orleans police officers have been taken off of the street following allegations that they ignored reports of sexual abuse and child abuse, NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison announced Thursday.
The move follows a shocking report released Wednesday by the Office of Inspector General that detailed disturbing problems within the NOPD's sex crimes unit.
Harrison said the officers were placed on administrative reassignment pending the outcome of a Public Integrity Bureau investigation into their actions.
"Our Public Integrity Bureau is working around the clock to investigate each allegation outlined in the OIG report. Based on our initial review of the findings, we believe there is enough evidence to suggest that these five officers weren't doing the job they were charged to do," Harrison said. "We will continue to investigate each case and will take additional disciplinary action if and when we discover violations."
The officers under investigation are:
Officer Akron Davis is a 16-year veteran of the NOPD and was most recently assigned to the NOPD Fifth District.
Sgt. Merrill Merricks is a 17-year veteran of the NOPD and was most recently assigned to the NOPD Second District.
Officer Derrick Williams is a 18-year veteran of the NOPD and was most recently assigned to the NOPD Seventh District.
Officer Damita Williams is a 20-year veteran of the NOPD and was most recently assigned to the NOPD Seventh District.
Officer Vernon Haynes is a 16-year veteran of the NOPD and was most recently assigned to the NOPD Seventh District.
Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux said from 2011-2013, there were 1,290 calls for service involving a possible sex crime. No report was written up for 840 of those calls. Police did write 450 reports, but in 60 percent of those cases, there was no supplemental report.
Over the same time period, the officers accused in the report presented only 105 cases to the District Attorney's Office. In 15 of those cases, children were involved, according to the report. Quatrevaux said the officers did an inadequate job of pursuing the cases.