Fired Lafayette Louisiana Police Officer Kencil Joseph Arrested And Charged With Bogus Crash Report – Left Out Facts Pertaining To Unlicensed Driver

August 31, 2012

LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA — A former Lafayette police officer was booked this week on criminal charges for allegedly falsifying a crash report so there was no mention of the unlicensed driver, allowing the man to avoid possible arrest.

Kencil Joseph, 28, of Opelousas, was booked Tuesday on charges of malfeasance in office and injuring public records and released after posting $1,000 bond.

Joseph was fired from the Police Department in May, Lafayette City-Parish Chief Administrative Officer Dee Stanley said.

The former officer has denied wrongdoing and has appealed to the Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board for reinstatement.

The investigation focused on a crash report from a February traffic accident in Lafayette, according to an outline of the internal affairs investigation in the civil service appeal file.

The driver of one the vehicles complained to police that the crash report listed the female passenger of the other vehicle as the driver and made no mention of the man who was actually behind the wheel, even though Joseph had allegedly been told the two had switched seats before he arrived, according to the civil service records.

The man and woman later acknowledged to police that Joseph was allegedly aware of the switch and had allowed the female to be listed as the driver because the male had no driver’s license and would have been subject to arrest, according to the civil service records.

Joseph denied knowing about the switch or even speaking to any male at the scene of the accident, according to the civil service appeal records.

Joseph’s defense attorney, William Goode, maintained his client’s innocence but declined to discuss the details of the case.

“Kencil (Joseph) was a wonderful police officer and did not commit this crime,” Goode said.

Stanley declined comment on the internal investigation of Joseph but said that he had worked at the department from April 2008 and was terminated on May 18.

If convicted, Joseph faces up to five years in prison on the malfeasance charge and up to one year on the charge of injuring public records.

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Louisiana Public School Giving The Boot To Pregnant Students Or Those Refusing Pregnancy Test

August 6, 2012

DELHI, LOUISIANA – In a Louisiana public school, female students who are suspected of being pregnant are told that they must take a pregnancy test. Under school policy, those who are pregnant or refuse to take the test are kicked out and forced to undergo home schooling.

Welcome to Delhi Charter School, in Delhi, Louisiana, a school of 600 students that does not believe its female students have a right to education free from discrimination. According to its Student Pregnancy Policy, the school has a right to not only force testing upon girls, but to send them to a physician of the school administration’s choice. A positive test result, or failure to take the test at all, means administrators can forbid a girl from taking classes and force her to pursue a course of home study if she wishes to continue her education with the school.

This is in blatant violation of federal law and the U.S. Constitution.

Today, the ACLU of Louisiana and the ACLU Women’s Rights Project asked Delhi Charter School to immediately suspend this discriminatory and illegal policy.

The policy’s complete disregard for Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities, is astonishing. Title IX and its regulations explicitly mandate that schools cannot exclude any student from an education program or activity, “including any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy or recovery therefrom.”

Besides violating Title IX, the policy is also in violation of the Constitution’s due process right to procreate, and equal protection: it treats female students differently from male students and relies on archaic stereotypes linked to sex and pregnancy.

Approximately 70 percent of teen girls who give birth leave school, due in part to illegal discrimination. Schools should be supporting pregnant and parenting teens that face numerous barriers to completing their education, not illegally excluding them from school. The ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project protects the rights of pregnant and parenting teens through advocacy, education, and litigation, working to combat the push-out of pregnant and parenting teens from school.

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Fired Jefferson Parish Louisiana Deputy Sheriff Robert Hoobler Arrested, Charged With Taser Weapon Attack

August 5, 2012

GRETNA, LOUISIANA – A former Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy turned himself in to authorities Thursday morning, two days after a warrant was issued for his arrest on a malfeasance-in-office charge. Robert Hoobler, 56, of Gretna was booked with the charge involving an incident in November in which Hoobler is accused of tasing a suspect multiple times.

Hoobler had arrested a person wanted for a violation of a protective order, said Col. John Fortunato, a JPSO spokesman. The suspect was handcuffed and put into the rear seat of Hoobler’s JPSO marked unit, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

“While en route to the (Jefferson Parish Correctional Center) and while driving in the 500 block of Cohen Street in Marrero, the suspect removed his seat belt, turned sideways and began kicking the rear door of the police car,” according to the Sheriff’s Office. “Hoobler stopped his police unit, exited the driver’s side and approached the rear door of his unit. It was at that time the suspect continued kicking the door, eventually breaking the window. Hoobler drew his taser while continuing to order the suspect to stop resisting. After repeated orders were ignored, Hoobler discharged his taser at the suspect.”

Hoobler reported the suspect continued to resist even after Hoobler used the electroshock weapon “on multiple occasions,” Fortunato said.

The suspect, who was treated for minor injuries consistent with that of taser probes, was transported and booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, Fortunato said.

On April 12 of this year, Sheriff Newell Normand ordered a criminal investigation. Hoobler agreed to meet Chief Deputy Walter “Tom” Gorman the same day. After Hoobler was advised of his rights and the charge against him, he invoked his 5th Amendment right and refused to provide Gorman with any details, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Hoobler was fired the next day.

A warrant for his arrest was issued Tuesday, following an investigation, Fortunato said.

Hoobler was credited with saving the life of Grammy-award winning rap superstar Lil Wayne. The musician, whose real name is Dwayne Carter, accidentally shot himself in the chest while playing with a handgun in 1994, and Hoobler helped rush the 12-year-old Carter to the hospital. Hoobler was awarded a life-saving pin for his actions.

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Former Lafayette Louisiana Police Officer Jackie Hagan Arrested, Charged With On-Duty Sexual Battery Of A Witness To A Crime – Department, Chief, And He Also Face Civil Lawsuit Filed By His Victim

August 4, 2012

LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA – Former Lafayette Police Department Cpl. Jackie Hagan, now the subject of a civil lawsuit for allegedly sexually battering a woman while he was on duty, turned himself in to police Thursday morning and was booked into prison on one count of sexual battery.

Hagan, 34, of Sunset posted a $20,000 commercial bond, meaning he paid only 12 percent of that amount, and was released from the Lafayette

Parish Correctional Center on Thursday afternoon, according to Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Kip Judice.

Hagan pleaded not guilty to the sexual battery charge during his arraignment June 29. He is scheduled to appear before Judge Kristian Earles for a pretrial hearing at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 9.

On Tuesday, Hagan’s alleged victim, Pamela Harris, filed a civil lawsuit in the 15th Judicial District Court seeking an unspecified amount of money for an array of damages from the defendants in the case — Hagan, LPD, LPD Chief Jim Craft, Lafayette Consolidated Government and City-Parish President Joey Durel.

In the civil lawsuit, Harris claims she and a friend witnessed a crime in downtown Lafayette and called police to report the incident. Hagan, the first officer to respond to the scene, then allegedly insisted on giving Harris a ride home, despite numerous pleas from her and her friend.

During the ride home, Hagan allegedly began asking Harris sexual questions, which made her uncomfortable, according to the lawsuit. Upon arriving at Harris’s home, Hagan allegedly “opened Pamela’s door but stood in her way so she could not get past him.” Hagan then allegedly began fondling, groping and forcefully kissing Harris, despite her attempts to push him from her.

Harris was ultimately able to push Hagan off her, and she fled into her home, where she called several friends and her husband, Donald Harris, who called police to report Hagan’s alleged sexual battery.

Other police officers then responded to Harris’s home, and the officers took Harris’ clothes as evidence. According to the lawsuit, police testing found Hagan’s DNA on Harris’ bra, prompting police to arrest Hagan and charge him with sexual battery.

Hagan avoided arrest despite being arraigned, having a court date set and being the subject of an active warrant that was issued June 7. Judice said LPSO sent the warrant to St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office on June 12 because LPSO does not typically send officers outside Lafayette Parish to serve warrants.

Lt. Megan Vizena, a spokeswoman for the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office, could not immediately say Wednesday why officers hadn’t yet arrested Hagan.

On Thursday, Vizena said officers went to Hagan’s home on Wednesday, but he was not there. She said the officers spoke with Hagan’s wife, who then contacted him and explained to the officers than Hagan would turn himself in to police Thursday.

“At noon, they were going to send someone to get him, but he had already turned himself in,” Vizena said during a phone interview.

According to the affidavit for Hagan’s arrest, he turned himself into police at LPCC at 11:30 a.m. If convicted of sexual battery, Hagan faces as many as 10 years of imprisonment, according to Louisiana law.

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BROKE: 16 States Now Rationing Prescription Drugs For Medicaid Patients

July 31, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Sixteen states have set a limit on the number of prescription drugs they will cover for Medicaid patients, according to Kaiser Health News.

Seven of those states, according to Kaiser Health News, have enacted or tightened those limits in just the last two years.

Medicaid is a federal program that is carried out in partnership with state governments. It forms an important element of President Barack Obama’s health-care plan because under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act–AKA Obamcare–a larger number of people will be covered by Medicaid, as the income cap is raised for the program.

With both the expanded Medicaid program and the federal subsidy for health-care premiums that will be available to people earning up to 400 percent of the poverty level, a larger percentage of the population will be wholly or partially dependent on the government for their health care under Obamacare than are now.

In Alabama, Medicaid patients are now limited to one brand-name drug, and HIV and psychiatric drugs are excluded.

Illinois has limited Medicaid patients to just four prescription drugs as a cost-cutting move, and patients who need more than four must get permission from the state.

Speaking on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on Monday, Phil Galewitz, staff writer for Kaiser Health News, said the move “only hurts a limited number of patients.”

“Drugs make up a fair amount of costs for Medicaid. A lot of states have said a lot of drugs are available in generics where they cost less, so they see this sort of another move to push patients to take generics instead of brand,” Galewitz said.

“It only hurts a limited number of patients, ‘cause obviously it hurts patients who are taking multiple brand name drugs in the case of Alabama, Illinois. Some of the states are putting the limits on all drugs. It’s another place to cut. It doesn’t hurt everybody, but it could hurt some,” he added.

Galewitz said the move also puts doctors and patients in a “difficult position.”

“Some doctors I talked to would work with patients with asthma and diabetes, and sometimes it’s tricky to get the right drugs and the right dosage to figure out how to control some of this disease, and just when they get it right, now the state is telling them that, ‘Hey, you’re not going to get all this coverage. You may have to switch to a generic or find another way,’” he said.

Arkansas, California, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia have all placed caps on the number of prescription drugs Medicaid patients can get.

“Some people say it’s a matter of you know states are throwing things up against the wall to see what might work, so states have tried, they’ve also tried formularies where they’ll pick certain brand name drugs over other drugs. So states try a whole lot of different things. They’re trying different ways of paying providers to try to maybe slow the costs down,” Galewitz said.

“So it seems like Medicaid’s sort of been one big experiment over the last number of years for states to try to control costs, and it’s an ongoing battle, and I think drugs is just now one of the … latest issues. And it’s a relatively recent thing, only in the last 10 years have we really seen states put these limits on monthly drugs,” he added.

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Louisiana State Police And Local Law Enforcement Suddenly Have Enough Free Time To Target Motorists With Dirty License Plates

July 31, 2012

LOUISIANA – Louisiana state police and local law enforcement agencies are telling motorists to clean off their dirty license plates.

State police say in a news release the motorists caught with their license plates obscured in any way, including by dirt, mud or frames that cover part of the plate, could be ticketed.

Louisiana law requires vehicle license plates be clearly displayed, as well as illuminated at night by license plate lights.

Col. Michael Edmonson, state police superintendent, says clean license plates can help citizens more easily report reckless or impaired drivers, as well as vehicles involved in criminal acts.

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Southern University Louisiana Police Officer Randolph Harrell Arrested And Suspended After He And Another Savage Black Beast Pointed Pistol And AK-45 At Man At Auto Parts Store – Previously Should Have Been Fired After Shooting At A Car Near His Home

July 28, 2012

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA – A Southern University police officer may be asked to turn in his badge, and the 9 News I-Team has learned it’s not the first time.

According to a report by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, Randolph Harrell, an officer at the university, got into an argument with a customer outside of an audio store on Plank Road.

Harrell was booked and charged with felony aggravated assault.

According to the arrest report, the victim, a customer at the store, said Harrell and another guy “pointed a dark colored handgun, which resembled a Ruger at him and the other unknown black male pointed what appeared to be an AK-47 at him.”

Store employees ran inside the store and called 911, but after deputies left they said the two men came back, parked behind the fence at a business next door and waved their guns out of their windows.

The report states, “at 12:13 p.m., deputies returned after a witness called back to report the accused passed back a second time … Pointing a gun out of the window.”

An hour later, a third call to deputies “to report the accused had passed again heading north on Plank Road and pointed the weapon again.”

“Whenever an officer is involved in such matters they’re called in and talked to and put on administrative leave,” Southern University Police Chief Ronald Stevens said.

After the arrest, Stevens said he sent internal affairs officers to Harrell’s house to let him know an investigation was underway.

“I take a misdemeanor arrest just as serious as I do a felony arrest. We are police officers, hired to enforce the law not break it and if I got out and break it then how is it that I can go out and enforce it,” Stevens said.

It was not the first time Harrell found himself on the wrong side of the law. Former Southern University Interim Police Chief Terry Landry said less than a year into Harrell’s job as a police officer, three years ago, he had to ask Harrell to resign or be fired.

“During the probationary period of his employment there was an incident where Mr. Harrell allegedly fired his weapon at a car he had some type of altercation with at his residence,” Landry said.

Landry said Harrell never reported the incident.

Current Chief Stevens said he rehired Harrell in April of this year. But not before doing a thorough background check. He said he called the Pointe Coupee, Tangipahoa and St. Helena Sheriffs’ offices, where Harrell worked after leaving Southern.

“That’s one of the first questions I asked, if they would hire him back and I got the nod that they would have and he was a good officer while he was there,” Stevens explained.

Landry said Chief Stevens never called him about Harrell.

“I’m just astonished that this young man was hired back because his patterns are laid out and if they had done adequate research… I know no one called me and asked what I thought about it,” Landry said.

Chief Stevens said he expects to know the internal affairs investigation to be complete in less than 60 days.

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