NewsLafayette Parish


Pellerin family meet with DA after state police complete investigation

The family will address a grand jury
Ron Haley on Trayford meeting.jpg
Posted at 11:38 AM, Apr 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-28 20:44:50-04

LAFAYETTE, La. — The family of Trayford Pellerin had a meeting with prosecutors Wednesday, and left the gathering "frustrated but hopeful," their lawyer says.

Ronald Haley, who is representing the family, says Lafayette District Attorney Don Landry told them the results of a Louisiana State Police investigation into Pellerin's August 21 shooting death.

“State police concluded their investigation. Rendered it a justifiable shooting,” Haley said.

He said the community should be frustrated as well.

"The frustration should be with the policy within the police department to not release information to the public as it pertains to a wrongful death of it's citizen, which has been done here," Haley says.

Fifteenth Judicial District Attorney Don Landry said the case will be presented to the grand jury to make a decision.

"It's the grand jury's decision to decide whether or not there was a justifiable shooting. They will be given all of the evidence, and then they will make that decision," he said.

Haley says the family is pinning its hopes on Landry.

"We're hopeful that DA Landry is taking their evidence all with a grain of salt, and they're doing their own investigation of that prior to taking it to the grand jury," he said.

The Pellerin family has watched video from one bodycam from the night of August 21, when Trayford was shot dead by police. There's also cell phone video, taken by a bystander. It's the only video released to the public - and was not released by police, but by the person who shot it.

"That is a problem, that is a policy problem. Not just a policy problem that effects Lafayette, but a policy problem that affects the entire state of Louisiana," Haley says.

The grand jury will see all the video footage.

"We want to do the right thing, and this case, I think were doing the right thing," Landry says.

Landry says he expects the grand jury to begin in the next few weeks.

A crowd gathered outside the courthouse on Wednesday while the family was inside meeting with Landry. They chanted "What do we want? Justice!" and "Say His Name" as they waited for family to leave.

Haley, speaking to reporters, says the case will go before a grand jury and the family will be allowed to speak during that process.

A date is not yet set for when the case will be brought to the grand jury. Haley says they should know in 7 to 10 days.

“Often times they will take the investigation, sweep it under the rug, not go to the grand jury," Haley said. "The DA will present a fair case to the grand jury."

He asks that the public continue to demand transparency in the case and the proceedings to follow.

KATC spoke with the Pellerin family on Tuesday. They said in that meeting they were going to ask why they haven’t been able to see the body cam video, as well as surveillance footage from that night.

“We need justice, transparency, accountability, because anyone who’s seen the video could know it is blatant murder,” said Trayford's father, Cedrick Pellerin. “It's overkill as well."

The Pellerin family, who were present following the meeting Wednesday, did not wish to speak.

Pellerin was fatally shot by Lafayette Police officers on Aug. 21, 2020 after he allegedly attempted to enter an occupied convenience store along the NW Evangeline Thruway while armed with a knife.

A cell phone video taken of Pellerin as he was walking up to the convenience store went viral and led to mass protests across Lafayette.

The parents of Trayford Pellerin filed a civil lawsuit in Federal Court against Lafayette Consolidated Government and the Lafayette Police Department in October 2020.

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