Ville Platte woman shares experience from police "hold" - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Ville Platte woman shares experience from police "hold"

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A Ville Platte woman says she was treated like a criminal for witnessing a crime. The Department of Justice documented her experience in their investigation (below), and tonight she shared her experience.

Her story is part of a federal investigation into the Ville Platte Police Department and Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office. Both agencies admitted to using “holds” as a strategy to extract information from suspects, witnesses and family members.

Shawana Deville said she was brought to the Ville Platte Jail because police believed she may have witnessed a grocery store armed robbery in 2014. Deville says officers stripped her, dressed her in a prison jumpsuit, and put her in a cell with the general prison population.

“It was horrible actually,” said Deville, “Being in a cell when you know you didn’t do anything wrong.”

Deville says she was held for eight hours, but according to the DOJ’s investigation, the average illegal hold lasted three days.

Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue acknowledged Deville’s hold, but he said those are outdated practices that his department is changing. He said at the end of the day, his goal is to protect Ville Platte citizens.

We reached out to the Evangeline Sheriff, but our call was not returned.

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