Lafayette

Sep 17, 2012 7:52 PM by Erin Steuber

Partial protective order granted to defense in ongoing police lawsuit

A gag order has been partially lifted in the federal court case involving nine past and present Lafayette Police Officers.
As we've been reporting, the group is suing their superiors and Lafayette Consolidated Government. Getting you up to speed, the nine officers asked for a restraining order against two of their superiors, including police Chief Jim Craft and and LCG. The restraining order was denied, and the case was dismissed in state district court in May. Then two weeks later, the officers filed a federal lawsuit alleging corruption, racial discrimination and and physical threats.
On September 14, both sides appeared in court. The case was in recess until September 17.
The defendants in the case filed a protective order claiming harrassment, citing the officers "abuse of the court system" by continuing to file lawsuits. Judge Hanna characterizing their submission as "overbroad."
In court, the defense again stating their fear of not getting a fair trial if the case goes before a jury because of the constant media attention. Chief Craft, and LCG CAO Dee Stanley, were called to the stand. Both explained their concerns with the website "realcopsvcraft.com," and repeatedly stated they feel the allegations being brought against them are completely unfounded. One of the plaintiff's in the case, Kane Marceaux, testified the website was created to get their side of the story out. The judge then called former LPD officer Regina Briscoe to the stand.
Over the weekend, ownership of the website (realcopsvcraft.com) was transferred to her. Briscoe testifies the group of officers decided the website needed to be under the name of someone who has not participated in the creation of any recordings.
Judge Hanna partially lifted the gag order that has been in effect for nearly two weeks, and ordered the website (realcopsvcraft.com) be taken down. During his ruling, the judge laying out specific restrictions dealing with both parties future interaction with the media. He says from here on out all parties will "play by the book." Both parties will be meeting in court again on September 25 for a motion to dismiss the case by the defense.
"We believe it was a fair decision that appropriately protects the rights of all parties, and have no complaints about it," said the Plaintiff's attorney Chris Alexander. "We believe we were able to prevail on a number of issues that were important to our clients. We feel that we're going to be able to operate under the constraints Judge Hanna outlined."

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