by Joe Jurado
In Louisiana, an investigation has been launched into three officers involved in the arrest of two Black teenagers outside of a Lafayette bowling alley.
CNN reports that last Saturday, 16-year-old twins Jabari and Gerard Celestine were waiting outside to enter the Arcadia Lanes bowling alley when three Lafayette police officers, responding to a call about someone who had a gun nearby, arrived. Ron Haley Jr., an attorney for the family, told CNN that neither boy had a gun on them. According to Haley, the officers approached Jabari, read him his rights, and then placed him in handcuffs when they arrived.
Multiple videos of the incident went viral on social media, with one showing Gerard approaching the officers as they arrest his brother. Another video shows the officers pushing Gerard against a wall and an officer repeatedly punching him once he’s on the ground
While Jabari was released without being charged, Gerard was arrested on charges of interference, resisting arrest, and battery of a police officer. Interim Police Chief Scott Morgan has launched an investigation into the arrest and placed one of the officers on administrative leave. The other officers have been removed from regular duty, pending the results of the investigation. The Lafayette Police Department has not released the names of the officers involved or said why they were at the bowling alley.
Man. They, allegedly, really tried to arrest Jabari just because he was Black. Like it’s blatantly obvious, y’all. The fact they just showed up, read his rights, and cuffed him without even asking questions or seeing if he had a gun says it all.
This is only the latest incident involving the Lafayette Police Department as last month, the department faced outrage following the shooting death of Trayford Pellerin, a 31-year-old Black man. Haley, who also represents Pellerin’s family, said that the arrest only spotlights how necessary it is for police to address systemic racism.
“First you have to be transparent,” Haley told CNN. “If you are a law enforcement officer, you have one of the only jobs in the country where it is legal in your job description to take away someone’s life, liberty, and property. With that power, there must be transparency.”