As we enter another day of the firing of Police Chief Dwayne White debacle, it appears that the topic of ‘breaking the law’ is now on the table. Louisiana Law (RS 33:2481) states under “Police” (1) that the Chief of Police is classified. If this is accurate, then it explains why White’s attorney, Jill Craft, has filed an appeal stating that his firing violates the officer’s bill of rights and Louisiana Law.
Regarding the officer’s Bill of Rights, now that I have read them, I understand completely why Mayor Kip Holden and his sidekick William Daniel have violated the rights of Chief Dwayne White. In fact, it is pretty clear that both Daniel and the Mayor have violated the majority of White’s rights by completely disregarding all requirements to investigate, demote or fire an officer of the law.
Let me segue for just a moment and be very clear that Mayor Kip Holden is ‘above the law’ in his service as Mayor of East Baton Rouge Parish and the City of Baton Rouge. Each time he has been re-elected, I have been taken aback that the people have chosen him to serve another four terms. He has demonstrated over and over again that he does as he pleases. One of the more recent incidents you might recall is the refusal to sign a grant request for the Sheriff’s Office causing the control of the grants to be awarded elsewhere. In his mind, Holden is above the law.
The officer’s bill of rights can be found at this link; however, for those who do not have time to read the full text, allow me to provide just a few excerpts. By the way, these texts are not just a list of ‘let’s try to play nice’ — these are Louisiana Law and can also be found in the Revised Statues of the Legislature:
- VIOLATION #1 BY MAYOR KIP HOLDEN - the public release of Chief of Police Dwayne White’s home address to the media — further printed in the newspaper and television websites for all to view. The Law is: Title 40, Chapter 25, Section 2532: No person, agency, or department shall release to the news media, press or any other public information agency, a law enforcement officer’s home address
- VIOLATION #2 BY MAYOR KIP HOLDEN - it is crystal clear now why Chief of Police Dwayne White had an attorney contact the Mayor’s Office to determine if the rumors were try regarding the potential firing of her client. The law clearly states in Title 40, Chapter 25, Section 2531 – 4(A) that an officer will be allowed the right to retain counsel and have that counsel present. According to CAO William Daniel and the media, White was called in and told that he could not have his attorney present. Furthermore, prior to his firing, his counsel contacted the Mayor’s Office out of courtesy to ask about the blatant rumors of his purported firing. More lies were told by Holden’s Office in that they claimed there was no intention to fire the Police Chief. To add more insult to injury, Holden’s cronies told the media that there was no intention to fire the Police Chief. (Of course, this was all during the election — not a good time to admit someone leaked information on your plans to fire the Police Chief).
- VIOLATION #3 BY MAYOR KIP HOLDEN - The law states that a recording will be made, and the officer will be afforded a copy of that recording. Title 40, Chapter 25, Section 2531 – 3 — Police Chief Dwayne White thought their meeting was being recorded, but when he and his attorney asked for a copy they were told by CAO William Daniel that he was playing with his phone and maybe that is why White ‘thought’ it was being recorded. Furthermore, Daniel stated no recording existed — another blatant violation of Louisiana Law!
We could go on and on, but you might want to take the time to read the law yourself. Whether you are a fan or foe of Mayor Kip Holden and his Chief Administrative Officer William Daniel, one thing is very clear — the entire handling of the firing of Police Chief Dwayne White is sorely in question.
It seems to me that Holden and his entourage have always done as they pleased. In this case, they have clearly violated statues of Louisiana Law.
This is about power, control, and thumbing your nose at everyone. Holden has developed it to a fine art, and totally disregards anything or anyone who questions his authority as Mayor-President.
As we wait and watch to see the end result, do not underestimate the ability of Holden to weasel out of this situation. No doubt he will find a way to set himself free and find another scapegoat.
What you do in private is as important as what you do in the public eye. The only difference this time is that a man with the backbone and desire to save his own reputation (Chief Dwayne White) is willing to go to the mat and fight Holden on what he believes to be right.
Until next time,
Red Stick Republican