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Calling for solutions: The Gang War in Iberia Parish - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Calling for solutions: The Gang War in Iberia Parish

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Iberia Parish Sheriff, Louis Ackal, has hit a roadblock trying to combat gun and gang violence on the streets of New Iberia.

"What's been going on for the last year is a gang war. The West end versus the East end of New Iberia," Ackal said. 

Ackal said the violence comes down to gang retaliation, and our future leaders are the ones suffering at the hands of the violence. 

"The older gang members, use the juveniles because they know that the consequences against the juveniles are going to be far less than that of an adult," Ackal said. 

Former gang leader, Charles Banks, said he has been apart of the gang life and nothing will be resolved until the officials and the community bridge the gap.

"They are afraid because there is no relationship here. The relationship has failed between the community and the Sheriff's department," Banks said. 

Ackal says he agrees; working together is the only solution.

"We are not asking them to come and testify in court. We just want to know if it is going to happen, where it is going to happen, and who is involved," Ackal said.

New Iberia mayor, Freddie Decourt, said with the police department coming back after 13 years, he has plans in place to bring the violence to an end.

"Policies of community policing are going to be really important, I feel comfortable that the chief we are bringing in has done that and will continue to do that. I can tell you that every officer will sign a statement, that they believe in community policing and we are putting those policies together now.  And revamping those policies to for New Iberia and fit our current situation," DeCourt said. 

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