Farmer Billy Broussard follows State Police Col. Davis’ admonition; files IA complaint against Trooper Scott Lopez alleging coordination with SMPG President Cedars to “illegally shut my farming operations down.”

Farmer Billy Broussard stands just outside Louisiana State Police headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana moments after filing his complaint against Trooper Scott Lopez on Friday, November 19, 2021.

On Friday, November 19, 2021, farmer Billy Broussard filed a formal Internal Affairs complaint against Louisiana State Police (LSP) Trooper Scott Lopez.  Broussard explains in the following video his rationale for filing the complaint and the fact that he followed the admonition of LSP Col. Lamar Davis given to Louisiana citizens in a press conference Davis conducted on September 10, 2021:

Broussard elaborates on his rationale for filing his complaint against Trooper Lopez on Friday, November 19, 2021.

A few highlights from the narrative of Broussard’s complaint:

Trooper Lopez proceeded to angrily state to Mr. Miller:
“You better not drive down my road again if you know what’s good for you!” Mr. Miller immediately called me and informed me of Trooper Lopez’s statements to him and emphasized the fact that Trooper Lopez angrily stated to Mr. Miller that, if he (Lopez) did see Mr. Miller driving down “his” road again, he would issue him a citation.

What disturbed me most about Trooper Lopez’s conversation with me is that he voluntarily stated that he had “been working with Parish officials” regarding my property.  In fact, he met with parish officials the very next evening after the incident (i.e. on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 ). Six (6) days later, on June 21, 2021, I received a certified Cease and Desist (C & D) letter in the mail directing to me discontinue all farming operations on the property….I assert that it was inappropriate for Trooper Lopez to be coordinating with St. Martin Parish officials to attempt to shut down my farming operations.

In apparent efforts to “work with Parish officials” to shut down my farming operations, Trooper Lopez went door-to-door to surrounding homeowners to solicit support form them to have my farming operations shut down.

On August 31, 2021, St. Martin Parish President Chester Cedars filed an illegal Temporary Restraining Order to shut my farming operations down…..At the top of the list of witnesses was none other than “Scott Lopez.”

The only other non-parish official listed on the witness list is neighbor Blake Dubroc, whom Trooper Lopez specifically sought to assist him in his efforts to, in concert with Parish President Chester Cedars, illegally shut my farming operations down…In short, St. Martin Parish President Chester Cedars and Trooper Lopez teamed up to illegally shut down my farming operations.

As refenced in the video, the only video LSP claims to possess entailing the incident of the driver of Broussard’s truck being pulled over is the following dash cam video, which is devoid of any audio:

Dash cam video (no audio) of Broussard’s driver being pulled over by LSP Trooper Scott Lopez on Monday, June 14, 2021 at approximately 4:30 p.m.

The above video was obtained as part of a public records request; furthermore, we want to emphasize that LSP Capt. Nick Manale indicated to us that “body cam” video had been “recovered” entailing the incident.  Nevertheless, all that was provided to us was the above dash cam video, which is devoid of audio.  Here’s Manale’s communication to us (see page 23 of Broussard’s complaint):

The body cam video was recovered and a link was previously sent to Ms. Aucoin, who resigned from the agency last week. Our legal staff is getting a new link and that video will be reviewed for any necessary redactions.

We also want to emphasize that we requested audio files from Troop I for incoming and outgoing phone calls from the timeframe of 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Here’s the correspondence we received from Capt. Manale entailing any such audio files (also on page 23 of the complaint):

The recorded phone lines were operating on a temporary replacement system at Troop I at the time of the request. Recovery of those files are still being attempted by our Office of Technology Services. If those files are recoverable, they will still need to be reviewed for citizens’ confidential information.

Giving Capt. Manale the benefit of the doubt that he simply mistyped body cam rather than dash cam above, Broussard felt compelled to draw the following logical conclusion as he wrapped up his complaint (see page 5 of the complaint  link above):

Given the inaccuracy of Capt. Manale’s statement on the nature of the video, I can only assume that, similar to the Ronald Greene incident, Trooper Lopez turned off his body-cam as a result of his anger and intent to vent his anger to my driver after he’d pulled him over.

As we’ve previously reported, we asked for and received the latest version of LSP’s body cam policy.  A retired LSP Trooper, who reviewed the policy and noted the repetitive use of the word “shall” (meaning not optional) in the policy and who has also reviewed the video above, stated:  “I think it’s clear Trooper Lopez violated that policy.”

Again, we’re going to give Capt. Manale the benefit of the doubt that he merely mistyped the nature of the video (i.e. body cam vs. dash cam) recovered vs. him trying to provide cover for Trooper Lopez.  Nevertheless, perhaps that matter can be an area for LSP Internal Affairs to delve into as they investigate the allegations Broussard has presented to them.

Direct links for previous features in the St. Martin Parish Government / Billy Broussard Saga:

1.  LSP Trooper Lopez allegedly demands Broussard’s driver not go down “my road” again (feature contains and extensive video tour of Broussard’s 33-acre farm).

2.  Cedars obtains court-ordered Temporary Restraining Order shutting down Broussard’s farming operations.

3.  Broussard’s attorney asserts in court filings that Cedars is on “crusade” to “harass” Broussard.

4.  Cedars caves and begs for TRO court hearing to be cancelled and offers major concessions to Broussard to do so.

5.  Sound Off Louisiana’s founder explains how SMPG President Chester Cedars is the “epitome and personification of Louisiana’s hostile reputation toward small businesses.”

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