NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - New Orleans' Independent Police Monitor prepares recommendations for the NOPD, after a suspect in custody killed Officer Daryle Holloway. The department is still knee-deep in its own investigation trying to determine how Travis Boys accessed two guns, while under arrest.
PANO attorney Eric Hessler spent years on the force. He, like many, struggles for answers as to how Travis Boys was able to access a weapon while handcuffed, in Ofc. Hollway's unit. "It seems like something went horribly wrong," Hessler said.
Rafael Goyeneche, President of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, says, "As a general rule what happens is, when the police make an arrest on somebody, the first thing they do after they apprehend them and secure them is they pat them down for weapons."
Police say Boys was frisked Friday night by Fifth District officers after being arrested for aggravated assault.
Demonstrating such a frisk, Hessler says, "You run down your hands and either pat, touch, manipulate that person who is under arrest."
But Hessler points out, some officers may do a more thorough search than others. "There's no strict policy on how far do you go when you search. I think it's each individual officers experience," Hessler said.
A police spokesman told FOX 8, "We did not find guns on Boys when he was arrested." But two weapons were found Saturday in Holloway's squad car after he was shot and killed while transporting Boys to Central Lockup. One was a .38 caliber gun linked to the aggravated assault Boys was arrested for Friday night, the other, a .40 caliber weapon, which investigators believe Boys used to kill Holloway. The officer's service unit was still in it's holster.
Goyeneche questions, "Did Ofc. Holloway pat him down before he put him in his car? Was there a weapon in the car that was unnoticed before?".
Another question remains, why was Holloway transporting Boys to Central Lockup alone? Although the spokesman for the NOPD says it's standard procedure for one officer to transport one handcuffed suspect to prison, Hessler says exceptions can be made, especially considering Boys had pleaded guilty to three previous escape charges. "The way it should be is the persons demeanor, the offense that he's arrested for, his criminal background should all be considerations," Hessler commented.
Hessler says the investigation will yield critical information saying, "These things need to be learned from."
So that a tragedy of this magnitude, never happens again.
Another issue the department is investigating, how Boys was able to get through the partition that separates the back of the squad from the front seat. Eric Hessler says it's not uncommon for officers to open the partition to speak to a suspect or even cool down the back of the car on a hot day.