Suit Filed Against Crowley Police Department Alleges Police Action by Uncommissioned Officers
Lafayette, LA (Law Firm Newswire) December 16, 2014 – A Complaint for Damages has been filed against the City of Crowley, Crowley Chief of Police Kelly P. Gibson, Scott Fogleman and Skeat Thibodeaux in United States District Court – Western District of Louisiana – Lafayette Division by the Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess (www.clayburgess.com) on behalf of Theresa Richard.
The eleven page complaint lodged December 12, 2014 lists the City of Crowley, Crowley Chief of Police Kelly P. Gibson, Scott Fogleman and Skeat Thibodeaux as defendants. According to the allegations contained in the complaint Scott Fogleman and Skeat Thibodeaux were never formally approved for hire by the Crowley City Council, were never formally commissioned as law enforcement officers and thus did not have the power to detain and arrest the complaintant, Theresa Richard.
The complaint also alleges on or about December 1, 2013, Mrs. Richard entered the Crowley Police Department recording the lobby of the building with her camera. Scott Fogleman, a person who claimed to be a lieutenant of the Crowley Police Department, demanded that Mrs. Richard “better not put that on Facebook.” Mrs. Richard asked Scott Fogleman what would happen if she did, to which he threatened, “Do it and find out what happens.” Mrs. Richard asked Scott Fogleman if he was threatening her, to which he replied with a demand for her to leave the building. When Mrs. Richard asked why she had to leave, Scott Fogleman ordered nearby officers to seize Mrs Richard’s camera and place her under arrest. Mrs. Richard was thereafter falsely arrested and charged with Remaining After Being Forbidden. Said charge was later dismissed on or about December 23, 2013.
The complaint further alleges that on or about May 28, 2014, Mrs. Richard was with a neighbor when said neighbor called the police to report harassment he was receiving from other neighbors nearby. Skeat Thibodeaux, a person who claimed to be a Crowley Police Department police officer, arrived to speak with the complaintant about the incident. At that time, Mrs. Richard was in front of her car and attempted to record the interaction between Skeat Thibodeaux and the neighbor on her cell phone. Skeat Thibodeaux demanded Mrs. Richard get in her vehicle and remain there while he spoke with the complaintant. Mrs. Richard informed Skeat Thibodeaux that she could not adequately record his interaction with the neighbor while she was in the car due to the sun glare, but that she would remain directly next to the vehicle and would not interfere with their interaction. Skeat Thibodeaux demanded that Mrs. Richard get in her vehicle, to which Mrs. Richard, asserting her civil rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Skeat Thibodeaux then placed Mrs. Richard under false arrest for Interfering with a Law Enforcement Investigation and Public Intimidation and unlawfully seized the Complainant’s cell phone. Both charges were later dismissed.
The complaint also indicates that in a listing of personnel actions passed out at the October 8, 2014 meeting the form indicates that twenty-seven (27) employees of the Crowley Police Department were working without the Council’s approval and one hundred twenty-three (123) employees of the Crowley Police Department had been promoted without the Council’s approval
The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess handle a variety of personal injury cases in Louisiana and Texas. Our team of attorneys can assist you with your car accident, trucking accident, premise liability, police brutality and other personal injury claims. Our headquarters is located in Lafayette, Louisiana with satellite offices in Baton Rouge, Louisiana , Lake Charles, Louisiana and Alexandria, Louisiana. Consultations are free, but by appointment only.
Complaint and attachments may be found at:
Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess
605 W. Congress St.
Lafayette, LA 70501