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LCG holds press briefing on protests, impacts from TS Laura

LCG
Posted at 12:59 PM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 17:52:19-04

LAFAYETTE, La. — On Monday, August 24, Mayor-President Josh Guillory will be joined by community leaders to discuss the recent events in the City of Lafayette.

Those events include the recent shooting death of Trayford Pellerin and the protests that have followed over the weekend.

Guillory said he recognized that there were a lot of emotions going on in the community after Friday's shooting.

"We do have a family in the community that is hurting, we can recognize that," said Guillory. "State police will conduct their investigation and we will be as transparent as we can."

Monday was the first time Guillory recognized the family of Pellerin.

"There is a family in the community that is in pain and we don't take that lightly," said Guillory.

Asked later why he hadn't recognized the family earlier in the weekend during one of his public appearances on the shooting, Guillory said,"When I heard about the situation, I began praying. But, I recognize that I could have said something about the family earlier."

Guillory said that the reason that Monday's press briefing was delayed was due to his meeting with several local pastors and faith leaders who he said had been counseling him.

"We can recognize that there is pain from the local community and grieve with the family, but we can still support law enforcement," he said.

Guillory said that the facts in the case will come out soon and give some clarification on what exactly happened during Friday's shooting.

Guillory also addressed the protesting that took place over the weekend saying that while a majority of the local protesters are peaceful there are some possible agitators from outside of the area.

Asked about calls from protesters for his resignation, Guillory said he is not resigning.

Interim Police Chief Scott Morgan said that the Lafayette Police Department had turned all of their information, including body cam footage from the officers involved in Friday's shooting, to the Louisiana State Police.

He said that they will make a decision in the future about releasing the body cam footage to the public.

Morgan also addressed a break in at Citi Trends on the North Side of Lafayette Sunday night. He said that a juvenile was arrested in connection with the break in at the store.

He also said that there was a shooting in the parking lot of Citi Trends that left some with injuries that were treated at a local hospital.

Asked about the fine line between protecting people's freedom to protest and maintaining the safety of the community, Morgan said, "I don’t think it’s that fine of a line. It’s humanity. We are all human beings."

"I know this is a sad situation," said Morgan. "If you are a citizen not involved or interested in protest, we have a storm coming. We are trying to maintain peace and safety for those involved."

Morgan urged residents to not be out in the storm if they can avoid it if at all possible, but said that if someone has to be out there then to be careful.

Morgan said that LPD knows of people from outside of Lafayette that are involved in this weekend's protest, but would not reveal more details.

Demonstrators were outside of LCG on Monday morning where they sat in silence for 11 minutes. They said that each minute represented the number of shots fired at Pellerin by Lafayette Police.

LCG officials also discussed preparations that are currently underway as Tropical Storm Laura nears the Louisiana coast.

Craig Stansbury with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in Lafayette asked everyone to watch local news for the latest weather updates.

He added that he and his team are having regular conference calls with the National Weather Service.

Stansbury said that he has spoken with local responders about preparing equipment and staging areas through out the parish.

"We are preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best," said Stansbury.

Guillory said that while Tropical Storm Marco appears to be weakening, he advised residents not to let their guard down as Tropical Storm Laura appears to be more of a threat.

Guillory said that the Lafayette Utilities System has been working diligently over the weekend to prepare for the storm and that LCG has a plan in place with the fire, police and drainage departments ahead of the storm.

Lafayette Fire Department Chief Robert Benoit said that the storm is coming and high water is going to be a problem, so residents should be careful if they have to go out.

He also advised that if any protesters choose to continue their demonstrations after the storm hits that they should be careful and recognize that the storm is dangerous and will affect LFD's ability to respond to emergencies.

Lafayette Sheriff Mark Garber said that the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office has a robust search and rescue capability and that the state has set up a staging area at the LPSO Complex on Willow Street to help with search and rescue operations in the surrounding areas.

Watch the full LCG press conference below.

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