Louisiana State Police Trooper Scott Lopez’s son, Benjamin Cole, smiles at farmer Billy Broussard and gives him a hand signal (purported to be the symbol for “loser”) as he states, “hope you got a good picture.” Lopez engaged in this act mere minutes after he alleges Broussard committed “simple assault” against him.
We want to once again express sincere appreciation to Ms. Karen Berthelot for her dedication on fulfilling a public records request we’ve had outstanding for quite some time. That request has been for the all-important videos taken by Benjamin Cole Lopez, son of LSP Trooper Scott Lopez, on April 25, 2022, and upon which the entire “case” against farmer Billy Broussard hinged.
Ms. Berthelot alerted us yesterday, July 19, 2022, that the videos were ready for pickup on a DVD, and we had that DVD in our hands by late yesterday evening.
We will point out that they are the same videos which St. Martin Parish Sheriff Deputy Baily Romero easily had Benjamin Cole Lopez text to him within seconds on April 25, 2022. That’s the date Lopez sought to pursue Broussard for “simple assault,” and, as per his father, LSP Trooper Scott Lopez’s guidance, “at a minimum, obstruction of public roadway.”
The St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office’s attorney took a rather protracted period to formally approve the release of the two videos: one of which is 15 seconds in length, and the other of which is three seconds in length.
We can only assume that, with that attorney knowing that St. Martin Parish District Attorney Bo Duhe’ declined to prosecute the charge, there simply was no legal way to block release of the videos since they are clearly public record and no prosecutorial efforts remain.
The DVD we obtained contained the following: the 15-second video and the 3-second video, both taken by Lopez; the 9-second video taken by Broussard; and (5) still photos, two of which were derived from Lopez, and three which were derived from Broussard’s video.
We integrated the videos from the public records response and the associated still photos into key segments of St. Martin Parish Deputy Baily Romero’s body-cam video from April 25, 2022. Our goal being to create one seven-minute video outlining LSP Trooper Scott Lopez and his son, Benjamin Cole Lopez’s, allegations together with the video evidence they supplied to back up those allegations. Here is that seven-minute video:
4/25/22: Integration video of Lopez’s allegations and videos and still photos to back up those allegations.
We are going to make no commentary on the above video other than to say we had a number of attorneys and retired law enforcement officers who were baffled at how what’s depicted in the video above resulted in any judge signing an arrest warrant application.
As we’ve previously reported, the application was initially presented to Judge Lewis Pitman, whom we’re told is the “Senior Judge” for the District. When he declined to sign the application, Deputy Romero pulled it from Pitman and then presented the arrest warrant application to Judge Suzanne deMahy, who signed the application within minutes. It remains an open question as to whether added statements or material was submitted to Judge deMahy to cause her to pursue a very different action than that of Judge Pitman.
Because we believe that the probability of additional litigation over this matter is probable, however, we are going to refrain from making any additional commentary. Obviously, when and if the day arises where that litigation is reality, we will of course report on the content of any such litigation.
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