New Orleans council grapples with ankle monitor break down in Pollock case
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - One week after the murder of Portia Pollock, the New Orleans City Council met Wednesday grappling for answers. They are targeting an electronic monitoring system that appears to have broken down in this case.
Bryan Andry was arrested and charged with the second-degree murder of Pollock. He was out on a recently reduced $100,000 bond in spite of an arrest record dating back 31 years. That record includes a 1991 conviction for illegal carrying of weapons, a 1993 conviction for multiple thefts, a 1998 conviction for simple burglary and a 2005 conviction for aggravated burglary which got him 15 years in jail.
“We’ve got a fearful public and a spike in crime and the system needs to work like it supposed to work,” said New Orleans Councilman Jay Banks.
Councilmembers called three Orleans criminal court judges chambers to discuss problems.
“If the prosecution is not opposing a bond reduction is it still an open hearing?” asked Banks. Judge Karen Herman responsed, “The decision always lies with the judge.”
Judge Angel Harris thought Andry was ordered to wear an ankle monitor, which could’ve helped officials monitor his movements. She said in open court she saw it on him.
Though the hearing was called to address problems leading up to the murder of Pollock, it turns out defendant Brian Andry was never wearing an ankle monitor to begin with.
“There was no order for an ankle monitor and no restrictions placed,” said Orleans Sheriff’s Office spokesman Blake Arcuri.
“There were steps missed in Pollock but there’s a lot of holes in the bucket,” said Banks.
The Mayor’s office says it is looking toward a more unified approach to dealing with electronic monitors that could return system control back to law enforcement.
“We’ve been working on a system for an immediate response for violations,” said Nathaniel Weaver with the Mayor’s office of criminal justice.
“Law enforcement is necessary because they make an arrest and are trained in probable cause,” said Herman.
Meantime, councilmembers hope that something happens quickly to stem the current crime spike that resulted in Pollock’s death.
“That should never have happened,” Banks says. “We need reform but we still have criminals we have to deal with.”
We reached out to Judge Angel Harris’s office for comment on the discrepancy over the bail order in the Andry case. Her office said they cannot comment on the matter because it’s pending.
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