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White Red River Parish deputy claims racial discrimination to blame for his termination December 21, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in Anti-White, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Racism, Racist.

COUSHATTA — A fired Red River Parish sheriff’s deputy says his termination last week is the result of reverse discrimination.

Alvie Myers, who is white, claims his dismissal on Dec. 15 was instigated by black deputies in leadership positions who disagreed with his arrest last month of a black man. But Sheriff Johnny Ray Norman, who is white, said Myers was fired for violating office policy.

“I don’t know what he’s alleging; that’s up to him,” Norman said. “He was terminated because he broke our policies and procedures.”

Norman asked the Louisiana State Police to investigate Myers’ handling of the arrest of Sherman Newton Jr. However, Norman fired Myers before a State Police investigator fully completed his inquiry. The outcome of the state probe has no bearing on Myers’ employment status, Norman said.

“They’re investigating the criminal part to make sure the man’s rights were not violated or excessive force was not used,” Norman said.

State Police Sgt. Darrell Mills said the investigation should be wrapped up “pretty quickly.” The investigation includes a review of all of the Sheriff’s Office’s policies, including the use of force policy, along with interviews of all involved.

“We looked at the total incident. … We investigated it really fully,” Mills said.

Mills said he could not disclose what is in the report, which will be turned over to District Attorney Bill Jones for review. Wednesday, Jones said he was still waiting on the report.

At issue is the Nov. 12 arrest of Newton. Myers said he received a call on his cell phone from Sherron Newton, Sherman Newton’s sister, who had a restraining order on her brother. Sherron Newton had complained to Myers two days before that her brother had violated the restraining order and she had difficulties in getting deputies to respond and arrest him.

Myers said he was told by Norman to arrest Sherman Newton when he could find him.

Myers said he and Deputy James Mosely went to the residence in the 1600 block of Jim Moore Road, and knowing that Sherman Newton had been known to “cause problems in the past,” he retrieved from his patrol car a stick that he uses for protection. Myers explained that his deputy-issued ASP tactical baton was in his personal vehicle because he had swapped patrol cars.

Sherman Newton was sitting in a chair, and a butcher knife was on a small stand in front of him. Myers said he informed Sherman Newton he was under arrest for violation of a restraining order, but Sherman Newton refused multiple commands to comply with the arrest.

Myers said he and Mosely struggled with Sherman Newton inside the small house as Sherman Newton reportedly attempted to hit both officers. Myers said at one point he was knocked to the floor and was afraid that Sherman Newton could get to the butcher knife. So Myers grabbed his stick, which he said described as being “just like one of our batons.”

The first three swings at Sherman Newton didn’t make contact, but the fourth struck him on the forearm, which ended the fight. Myers and Mosely handcuffed Sherman Newton and transported him to the Sheriff’s Office.

Myers said Sherman Newton had a cut on his arm that he thought needed stitches, but the jail warden initially resisted sending Sherman Newton to the emergency room because of the cost involved. Myers said he was given two alcohol swabs and two sterile strips to put on Sherman Newton’s arm. But Sherman Newton continued to bleed, so Myers called Pafford Ambulance.

EMTs said Sherman Newton needed stitches to the arm and transported him to the hospital. It was discovered during an X-ray that Sherman Newton’s arm was broken. Myers said he did not know if Sherman Newton’s arm was broken during the struggle or when it was hit with the stick.

Norman said Myers was wrong to get out of his car with the stick, which he likened to an ax handle. Deputies are issued ASP tactical batons to use in defense. Myers also had access to Mace, Norman said.

“What was I supposed to do? Tell Sherman to wait, ‘Let me do this in order and get my Mace.’ I didn’t spray him with Mace because we were fighting and I was losing, and he had a knife close by,” Myers said.

Sherman Newton has a history of violence, Myers said, which is why his sister had a restraining order to keep him off of the property.

More than a dozen phone calls to Sherron Newton’s residence Wednesday and today were not answered. There is no telephone listing for Sherman Newton.

Myers said for weeks after the arrest no complaints had been filed against him by anyone involved. No complaints were presented at the sheriff’s review board, he said.

But Norman said Wednesday he has five complaints on file, including one from Sherman Newton. Norman declined a request of The Times to read the complaints, which he said would be made public once the State Police investigation is completed.

Myers countered that deputies who wanted him fired solicited the complaints.

The Sheriff’s Office’s policy spells out the amount of force to be used in an arrest and defines what is reasonable and necessary force. The methods of force begin with “mere presence” and escalate through verbal command, physical techniques, authorized chemical irritant, authorized baton and then authorized service weapon.

The policy also has a notation that “any authorized or unauthorized weapon” may be used if the circumstances dictate it.

Myers’ termination letter from Norman, which is not on Sheriff’s Office letterhead, lists three policies that Myers violated: using an authorized weapon, amount of force that may be used, and the feasibility and availability of alternate actions.

Norman notes that Myers was given the option of resigning or being terminated, and Myers refused to resign.

Norman said Myers had no reprimands during his 15-month employment with the Sheriff’s Office. But he added that he “heard” Myers was fired from his job as a state Probation and Parole agent, a position he held prior to going to work for the Sheriff’s Office.

Myers vehemently denies that allegation, saying he retired after 15 years of service with the state. “I retired and I can prove that. I’m no rookie. I’m a veteran officer. … They just wanted to get rid of me, and they did over this.”

Myers said he anxiously awaits the State Police report, which he believes will back his handling of Sherman Newton’s arrest.

“This wasn’t a pleasant thing for me to do either,” said Norman, who still calls Myers a friend.

C.a.r.d {Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination} Source: The Town Talk

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