Police monitor concerned about NOPD email on cyclists

New Orleans, La. - FOX 8 obtained an email sent to two sergeant supervisors in the NOPD's 4th District from their lieutenant, John Deshotel.  The language in that email isn't sitting well with Independent Police Monitor Susan Hutson.

"If the training is really strong and it emphasizes the Constitution, then all the directives from supervisors will be in line. This directive isn't," says Susan Hutson.

The email, dated March 1, states, "We need to make bicycle stops a priority. Make it a goal for the rest of the week. PINPOINT BICYCLES... verify it's been done. Hood neighborhoods can probably be beneficial."

"Obviously I'm concerned about targeting hoods.  A hood can be interpreted differently by a lot of folks, but I think when you first hear it, it comes to mind lower income and possibly with neighborhoods with person of color in them, so that's a concern," says Hutson.

She says officers shouldn't target neighborhoods, but instead should be targeting crime hot spots.

"The email also targets bicycles. It's not illegal to ride a bicycle so instead of that, as we said in our report, in your training of officers, target behaviors," says Hutson.

The email comes to light just two days after Hutson released a report on stop-and-frisk policies.  Hutson's conclusion was that the NOPD should reform its policy and training to comply with state and federal law.

"If they're training the department, then the directives from supervisors down to the officers on the street should talk about constitutional policing. This email that we are looking at today doesn't talk about that at all," says Hutson

An NOPD spokesman says, "Our 4th District commander has reviewed this memo written by a shift lieutenant to his fellow supervisors and counseled leadership on not using jargon. The NOPD expects our officers to be proactive and aggressive in crime fighting, but we demand constitutional policing."