NewsLafayette Parish


Mother of boys involved in bowling alley incident seeking justice

Posted at 7:50 PM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 20:53:55-04

LAFAYETTE — The mother of two teenage boys who were involved in an incident with Lafayette police want the officers involved to be held accountable.

Video shows one of the twin brothers on the ground being repeatedly struck by a police officer.

That officer was placed on administrative leave, and two other officers were pulled from regular duty.

Although it's been almost a week since the incident, the pain for the twins' mother, Penny Hack, remains the same.

Hack lives in San Antonio while her sons' father lives in Lafayette.

She received a phone call from the boys' aunt, alerting her about the incident Saturday night.

"I'm like, 'What happened?' And she says, 'Well, the police, you know, they beat up on the twins.' I'm like, 'They did what?' And she said, 'I'll send you the videos.' And when she sent me the videos, I dropped to the floor," recalled Hack.

According to Lafayette police, officers responded to the bowling alley on Ambassador Caffery Parkway because they received a complaint about someone with a gun.

However, police say, they didn't find anyone with a gun.

"Next thing you know, it's this," said Hack while describing the encounter. "I mean, it's just wrong. There was no need for any of it."

The mother of 16-year-old Jabari and 16-year-old Gerard Celestine says this incident isn't how she wants her sons to be portrayed.

According to Hack, the twins are motivated and interested in sports.

"My son Jabari... He doesn't miss a chance to joke, not at all. Any time he can, he's there," described Hack. "Gerard, he's more of a quiet kid. He's kind of to himself, but he's just silly as Jabari."

Hack believes the officers should face criminal charges.

"It shouldn't work like that to where [civilians] get the punishment, but if it's on the police side, then they just get a slap on the wrist," said Hack. "To be off with administrative leave, in my eyes, that's a slap on the wrist."

We reached out to the Lafayette Police Department to see if there were any updates in the case or if they planned on releasing any evidence. A department spokesman says they are not releasing a statement at this time.

The investigation into the officers' actions is ongoing.