Former Rep. Cedric Richmond neither tested nor cited after April car crash in Treme, NOPD says

Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 11:19 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Former Louisiana Congressman and presidential advisor Cedric Richmond was spared a field sobriety test and a traffic citation after he and his son were injured in a single-vehicle crash earlier this year in Treme, New Orleans police said Tuesday (June 6).

Richmond was behind the wheel with his young son in the car when he crashed his Mercedes sedan into a tree near the intersection of North Claiborne Avenue and Lafitte Street on April 23, 2023.

Fox 8 attempted to verify Richmond’s involvement in a single-vehicle crash two months ago, but the NOPD said it had no information on such an incident.

The department, however, finally acknowledged Tuesday that such a crash had been investigated by NOPD First District patrol officer Mark Miranda, who used his discretion to determine Richmond did not have to be field-tested to determine if he had been driving while impaired.

“As the responding officer in this incident, Officer Mark Miranda stated in his report that he did not detect an odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from the driver,” the department said in a statement. “Therefore, there was no reasonable suspicion of intoxication, nor probable cause to conduct tests for impairment.

“Additionally, the driver was inside of an ambulance undergoing emergency treatment for injury from EMS on scene before being transported to a local hospital.”

The statement added that Miranda’s investigation of the incident “meets the standards of the NOPD,” though it did not explain who made that determination or whether his handling of the crash had been reviewed by the department’s Public Integrity Bureau.

The NOPD’s report on the crash, obtained Wednesday by Fox 8, says the wrecked sedan was found near the base of a tree it had struck at approximate 8:42 p.m. Miranda reached the scene at 9 p.m., after New Orleans EMS and a New Orleans Fire Department engine had arrived.

“The officer briefly met with (Richmond) and noted slurred speech,” Miranda wrote. “The officer did not detect an odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from (Richmond). Paramedics advised both occupants (of Richmond’s crashed car) were being transported ... for possible injuries sustained in the crash.”

Miranda wrote that he later met the crash victims at the hospital where they were being treated, and that Richmond “was observed in a dazed, disoriented state and advised the officer he could not remember any details regarding the crash. The officer no longer noted slurred speech.”

In its statement, the NOPD said, “Officer Miranda is assigned to field platoon in the First District. Officers working on the platoon are regularly dispatched to investigate vehicle crash incidents.

“Issuance of a citation in a vehicle crash incident is done at the discretion of the officer, based on the findings of an initial investigation. As the incident involved a single-vehicle crash, coupled with the medical condition of the driver and the statement provided by the passenger of the vehicle, no citations were issued.”

Richmond, 49, served six terms in the US House of Representatives in the New Orleans-based Second District seat now held by Rep. Troy Carter, a fellow Democrat. He also worked as a co-chair of Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.

Richmond left Congress for the White House in January 2021, serving there for 16 months as a Senior Advisor to President Biden and Director of the Office of Public Engagement before resigning on May 18, 2022.

He has since been working as a senior advisor to the Democratic National Committee.

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