Posted: Oct 1, 2013 10:22 PM by Steven Albritton
Updated: Oct 2, 2013 7:48 AM
Saturday night's events are described as a riot by the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office, but the focus was on how deputies handled crowd control when festivities ended. Police started making arrests and many say they used "excessive force" in the process.
"I was passing by with one of my friends and saw a relative (in handcuffs) and I was asking him if he was OK so I could contact one of his family members and the officer grabbed me," Ladaedrea Moore of New Iberia said.
Moore was arrested moments later. She says she was thrown to the ground and on the hood of a police car, suffering neck, back and shoulder injuries.
"Everyone was just having a good time. No one was doing nothing bad or anything. Everybody was just doing what they regularly do during the Sugar Cane Festival," Moore said.
In the arrest report, deputies say Moore resisted arrest after refusing to move from the street. She allegedly also told police she wasn't moving. She says she's surprised at the details in the report.
"I was not resisting arrest. He started arresting me after I said, "Chris are you OK", because I was going to call somebody. That's what happened but I did not say that," Moore said.
David Hardin, a family member of Moore, is accused of starting the riot. He had a similar reaction when he finally saw what deputies put in his report.
Deputies say, Hardin said not to touch him or he would quote, "crush them." He was arrested soon after. Hardin says he is innocent of the crime and looks forward to having his name cleared.
"Basically he took my name down to the curb. They made me look like a really bad person, and that's not me. I got a family I'm raising here. There's no way. I tell my son about bad decisions every day. There's no way he'll have to worry about me in that situation ever," Hardin said.
Many residents in the Hopkins Street area believe what happened Saturday night was racially motivated. The Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office declined comment as the investigation continues. As of Tuesday night, one deputy is on administrative leave.