Analyst: 'Blue Lives Matter' law likely won't affect slain JPSO deputy case

Analyst: 'Blue Lives Matter' law likely won't affect slain JPSO deputy case

HARVEY, LA (WVUE) - This week, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law a "Blue Lives Matter" bill that tacks on extra charges when an officer is harmed, but one legal analyst doesn't think it will make a difference in the prosecution of Jerman Neveaux, who is accused of killing a Jefferson Parish Sheriff's deputy on Wednesday.

The outpouring for the family of Deputy David Michel continues at the scene of his death, and sheriff's chaplains have had their hands full, counseling deputies about the loss of one of their own.

"Police are like families. It's not like they lost a friend - they lost a family member," said JPSO chaplain the Rev. Dee Dunn.

Louisiana is the first state in the nation to sign the Blue Lives Matter bill into law.

"The hate crime won't come into play because this is murder. It's already top of the line," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joseph Raspanti.

"We had five eyewitnesses that put him at the location right away that we could put lineups in front of," said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand.

Normand said he has asked the FBI Civil Rights Division to look at the circumstances surrounding Neveaux's arrest, after a witness captured cell phone video of officers taking him into custody.

"What you see in the  video is a man flailing, who is suspected armed and suspected of killing a policeman. I think there will be leeway because they were trying to subdue him in all those circumstances," said Raspanti, who doesn't believe those circumstances will impact the prosecution's case.

"This is going to be one of the easiest cases in the history of the parish to prosecute and get a conviction of murder. This guy was seen by a lot of people, and the sympathies of the public will be with the government and against the defendant," Raspanti said.

At the memorial scene for Michel, some questioned why police only seem to get attention when something bad occurs.

"They are not recognized for all the good they do. They're only recognized for the bad things," Sanchez said.

The outpouring continues, and so does the work of sheriff's chaplains.

"We are here to encourage them, to help them and get them through this. And we will," said Dunn.

The Blue Lives Matter law is considered a tack-on charge under hate crime statutes. It could result in anyone convicted of harming an officer receiving an extra five years in prison, and a $5,000 fine.

Attorney Paul Fleming is representing Neveaux.  He declined to comment on this story.

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