NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The New Orleans Police Department refutes reporting that work to remove the Robert E. Lee statue delayed the arrest of a murder suspect.
Sources tell our partners at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune that members of the department's Violent Offenders Warrant Squad were tied up with removal work May 19, postponing efforts to execute an arrest warrant for Troy Varnado Jr. An Orleans Parish grand jury handed up a murder indictment in Varnado's case May 19. The department announced his arrest May 22.
Varnado was wanted in connection with the murder of Lindsay Nichols. Her body was found shot inside a burned out car in New Orleans East in 2015.
A department spokesman spoke to NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune about the case.
"The assertion that there were no VOWS officers available to execute an arrest warrant because of other departmental operations is false," said department spokesman Aaron Looney. "Regardless of departmental assignments, VOWS will always work in an expeditious and strategic manner to execute all arrest warrants assigned to the unit."