At a Louisiana State Police press conference of Friday, September 10, 2021, LSP Col. Lamar Davis points to Sound Off Louisiana founder Robert Burns to pose the first question of the Q & A segment of the press conference.
As any follower of our blog knows, we have been T-totally immersed very deeply in the Broussard / St. Martin Parish Government (SMPG) controversy (which itself has extensive involvement by Louisiana State Police – LSP). Further, we are looking very forward to attending Tuesday’s (September 14, 2021) injunction hearing in 16th JDC on the matter. We are particularly looking forward to any cross examination of LSP Trooper Scott Lopez at that hearing by Broussard’s attorney entailing a June 14, 2021 traffic stop of one of Broussard’s drivers.
Let us take this opportunity to catch our subscribers and visitors up on some of the core happenings at LSP last week.
First, on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 (a date at which we were at the SMPG Council Meeting), WBRZ’s (Channel 2 in Baton Rouge) Chris Nakamoto, the station’s lead investigative reporter, produced a feature entailing LSP Lt. John Clary, who was the highest-ranking Trooper to be on the scene of Ronald Greene’s death on May 10, 2019, being assigned as the body guard for Louisiana Tech’s football coach for its home games.
Numerous sources contacted a source common to both Sound Off Louisiana and WBRZ, and we were happy to know Nakamoto had keen interest in the matter and would run with it because we were (and are) deeply entrenched in Broussard/SMPG. That source, in turn, encouraged Nakamoto to watch video of Louisiana Tech’s home game played on Saturday, September 4, 2021, and that he (Nakamoto) would notice Clary escorting Louisiana Tech’s football coach off the field. The broadcast was on national television, and these folk felt it was an outrage to have the highest-ranking LSP Trooper on the scene at Greene’s death (and who is alleged to have lied about the existence of his own body-cam footage on the scene that morning), be awarded such a prestigious assignment.
Accordingly, Nakamoto ran with a feature on Tuesday night (September 7, 2021), and that feature was followed by yet another feature airing on the evening of Thursday, September 9, 2021. Let’s take a look at Nakamoto’s feature of that evening at this time:
WBRZ’s Clary follow-up feature airing at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 9, 2021.
Meanwhile, only one day before the preceding feature (Wednesday, September 8, 2021), AP reporters Jim Mustian (a former Advocate reporter) and Jake Bleiberg published this feature which contains an absolute plethora of photos and videos of alleged uses of excessive force by LSP Troopers. While some of the videos on the preceding feature had already been released to the public via the AP, the feature contains a ton of brand new releases of damning material.
After the one-two-three punch of Nakamoto-Mustian/Bleiberg-Nakamoto, LSP felt the agency simply had to convene a press conference to try and make at least a half-hearted effort at damage control as things seemed to have begun to spin completely out of control. LSP has tried for weeks to put on the full-court press to uncover the “source” of the media leaks (such that reports are that a massive level of LSP manpower and effort has been devoted solely to uncovering the leaks).
Since those efforts are obviously proving fruitless, the agency opted to try to mitigate the extensive damage to its public image via a hastily-called news conference. That news conference took place at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, September 10, 2021, which marked the one-year anniversary of Sound Off Louisiana being the first media outlet to expose the Ronald Greene matter. Sound Off Louisiana’s founder, Robert Burns, attended the press conference, and LSP Col. Lamar Davis was kind enough to call upon Burns for the very first question of the Q & A segment.
Burns sought clarity entailing material in this August 4, 2021 AP feature also by Mustian & Bleiberg. Specifically, Burns sought for Davis to “clear the air” on this segment of the feature:
Davis and Cain traveled to District Attorney John Belton’s office in Ruston — more than 200 miles north of Baton Rouge — on May 20 to review the video frame by frame and make the case that the troopers’ actions were justified.
Let’s take a look at Davis’ adamant statement that the segment of the AP feature quoted above is “not true.”:
LSP Col. Davis responds to Burns’ question on the accuracy of the AP report stating that he tried to convince DA John Belton that LSP troopers’ actions in the arrest of Ronald Greene were “justified.”
Now, Col. Davis was kind enough to call upon us (even doing so first), so we certainly wanted to be very respectful of the other journalists in attendance and make sure all of them had an opportunity to pose their questions before we took a “second bite at the apple” so to speak. We were very hopeful that someone in the media would follow-up on our question and seek the composition of folk from LSP attending that Ruston meeting. Fortunately, one member did, and that alleviated the need for us to even take that second bite. Let’s focus in on Davis’ response to the inquiry regarding who all at LSP (and otherwise) attended the meeting:
Davis provides the names of LSP personnel (and others) attending the meeting at DA John Belton’s Office on May 20, 2021.
Now, we are about to make some observations that we want to make it crystal clear that we’re speaking for Sound Off Louisiana only and our own practices in our commentary which follows:
As founder Robert Burns stated to the SMPG Council last week (watch video on the feature), we take great pride in extensively striving to make sure what we report is “accurate.” Burns made that comment before the SMPG expressing extreme frustration at what he’s referred to as “piss poor” journalism on the part of The Daily Iberian.
Burns’ criticism of the feature linked above entailed four (4) separate references to farmer Billy Broussard engaging in “burning” activities of vegetative debris he hauls onto his 33-acre farm. All four of those statements in that one feature are absolutely false!
Furthermore, it was not as simple as a mistake on the journalist’s part! Had that journalist merely taken even a few minutes to call Broussard using the business card Broussard provided at the conclusion of the August 3, 2021 SMPG meeting, those falsehoods would not have been reported. Why? Because Broussard would have emphatically denied any burning on his part!
Ironically, Broussard made such a denial at the August 3, 2021 SMPG meeting (from which the author drafted his article). Hence, we’re not sure what the author must have been doing as he sat in the same meeting and presumably heard Broussard emphatically deny that he is “burning.” Whatever he was doing, he sure as heck wasn’t paying attention, and that’s being very kind to the author. The alternative is obviously far worse! Nevertheless, that “journalist” published a feature falsely claiming that Broussard is burning four times within the same article linked above!
We know Jim Mustian personally, and we know him to be a reporter of absolutely impeccable character and extreme professional competency.
While we are not going to speak on whom his source for the quote above may be, we will simply say, again speaking for Sound Off Louisiana only and our practices, we would not have run with such a statement unless we got that information first-hand from someone in attendance at the meeting.
If Mustian insisted upon the same criterion, and going on the presumption that the source is an LSP official (and we realize that it may not have been given the non-LSP officials Davis states were in attendance at the meeting), we all heard in the video above Davis call out the names of those four (4) LSP officials in attendance at the meeting.
We can also use common sense to deduce Mustian’s source certainly was not Davis or Cain. If Mustian’s source was an LSP official (and, again, we acknowledge the fact that may not be the case), that leaves only two to choose from: Lt. Col. Chavez Cammon and Davis’ “then legal counsel, Faye Morrison.”
All of the preceding discussion notwithstanding, we do feel it’s imperative to point out the fact that Mustian reached out to Davis for comment before publishing the feature. What was Davis’ response? We’ll reproduce it at this time:
Davis has declined repeated interview requests.
Our advice to Davis is to respond to requests for interviews (i.e. be “transparent” as he promised to do soon after taking office) so that the “air can be cleared” long before large segments of Louisiana’s population (black, white, etc.) are now openly questioning his leadership, integrity, and honesty. The reporter referenced above regarding the SMPG feature did NOT reach out to Broussard before printing the repeated falsehoods he printed about Broussard “burning.” Davis cannot invoke that complaint against Mustian, and it is his own fault if he chose not to respond to “repeated interview requests.”
Regarding Davis’ honesty and integrity, he faced one more intriguing question posed by an alleged victim of police brutality. That gentleman essentially dismissed all of Davis’ defense of LSP. From our efforts to break out what he asked of and said to Davis, he appears to be from the Lafayette area (or at least asserts he was victimized by law enforcement officials in the Lafayette area).
We’ve yet to see any other media outlet report on this gentleman openly confronting Davis. Perhaps that may be as a result of a perception that he was ineligible to pose a question in not being a member of the media. Nevertheless, lack of media credentials notwithstanding, this gentleman certainly made his sentiments known to Davis. Let’s take a look:
A gentleman at the press conference openly confronts Davis on allegations of “alteration of body cam video” by law enforcement and accuses law enforcement of being, “worse criminals than us.”
Let us conclude by providing this link for the press conference in its entirety; however, we will forewarn our subscribers who may wish to view it that we’ve taken the time to read many of the news media’s reviews of LSP and, more specifically, Davis’ performance at Friday’s press conference. Those reviews range from one fellow blogger grading Davis at a “D-” for substance (ouch!) to even this Advocate feature which referred to Davis’ presentation as “a rambling press conference.” Finally, one observer with extensive ties to LSP’s operations who watched the press conference live via steam service provided by a mainstream media outlet, summed the press conference up with these words he uttered to us: “It has more BS than a Kansas City feed lot.”
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