Jul 13, 2011 12:22 AM by Shawn Kline

NAACP wants change in Ville Platte

After 10:00, Ville Platte residents have to wear reflective gear if they're walking the streets. It's part of the curfew law put in place in February.
Leaders with the NAACP say it's allowed racial profiling in the city but their complaints went unheard at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

"You are out of order... Period!" Mayor Jennifer Vidrine yelled at the meeting.

Mayor Vidrine told the Evangeline Parish NAACP their complaints would not be heard because they did not ask to be on the agenda prior to the meeting.
That answer wasn't good enough for local NAACP President Arthur Sampson.
Police say Sampson kept interrupting city council and booked him on one charge of disturbing the peace. He bonded out just minutes later.

"I knew I was going to get arrested," Sampson said. "I had it in my mind, I already knew- it was in my heart to be arrested."

Sampson accuses police of harassing the black community, calling the curfew law, 'ridiculous'
Police Chief Neal Lartigue says crime has gone down since the law was enforced and it's not ridiculous if you're not doing anything wrong.

"We have no intention in letting a few people come in here and back us off of our jobs," Chief Lartigue said.

However until something changes, Sampson says he'll be protesting every meeting at city hall.

"This is not going to stop right here, the mayor just started a movement here in Ville Platte." Sampson says, "you can see the peoples out here- they are sick and tired of being sick and tired."

The Evangeline Parish NAACP hopes to get on the agenda next week to formally speak their mind about these issues in Ville Platte.



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