On May 16, a Daily Kos community member received a video of four officers from the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) in the moments following the arrest of a Black man in the French Quarter. The site published the officer’s body camera on YouTube.
Since 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, NOPD has faced legal issues that involved the death of Henry Glover, controversy over its stop-and-frisk policy and a report from the U.S. Department of Justice that confirmed racial profiling, discriminatory and abusive policing, and the sexual extortion of Black women. Daily Kos reported that officers in the department also had a “tendency…to fabricate after-the-fact justifications for searches and seizures,” as the above video shows.
The video did not show the actual arrest because the officers—whom Daily Kos identified as Samuel Senter, Jordan Sherr, William Knowles and Jason Collins—had turned off their body cameras. But the camera did pick up their discussion about creating a plan that justified the search and arrest. After one officer can clearly be heard saying, “Let’s circle up for a second,” another one is seen on camera laying out a legal reason to make the arrest stick.
Nola reported on May 18 that, as a result of the video becoming public and receiving “troubling” reports from a federal monitoring team and the press, NOPD superintendent Shaun Ferguson said that he was reassigning all of his task force officers.