Thibodaux Police officer being investigated for sexual misconduct, using N-word, NAACP announces

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UPDATE: Sheriff Craig Webre said they are investing a complaint regarding the matter; however, the Thibodaux Police Department itself is not under investigation. “It’s not anything connected to police misconduct or anything related to the police department,” he continued. “That type of investigation would be done by the FBI or some other agency.”


Webre said one of the people in the investigation is connected to the police department, but it’s not because of any police action or misconduct. He said the majority of the people involved with the complaint are not police officers. The Sheriff’s Office has yet to validate any criminal charges against any person regarding the compliant, he said.


At noon today, local and state NAACP officials held a press conference to bring to light two separate ongoing investigations by the NAACP and Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office (refer to the above text) into misconduct and corruption by members of the Thibodaux Police Department.  


According to Lafourche NAACP President Burnell Tolbert, his organization has received evidence regarding sexual activities by a particular officer while on the job and him saying the N-word several times. 


It was the one officer who used the N-word, Tolbert said, but with the sexual activity by that officer, his organization learned there were others — who were not involved but knew about the incident. 


“Everything we receive, we make sure that it’s credible,” Tolbert said. 


Terrebonne Parish NAACP President Jerome Boykin echoed those sentiments, saying he also reviewed the evidence and it is credible. 


“It really wasn’t surprising to me,” said Boykin, a retired Terrebonne Parish deputy. “A lot of times when these things happen, you don’t have organizational people that really want to come forward with it and tell the truth. I’ve said many times that: a lot of the time, good cops don’t tell on bad cops.”


Tolbert said not all police officers are bad, but the bad ones are making the good ones look bad.


The misconduct has been reported to the Internal Affairs department, Tolbert said. “So many people around Thibodaux knew about it and was concerned about it. Nothing at all has been done,” he continued. 


About two weeks ago, the NAACP Legal Redress Committee met with Police Chief Bryan Zeringue about harassment and misconduct complaints. Tolbert said his organization was trying to be proactive with the situation. 


“We feel that our community is really, really concerned and not too happy about some of the things that are going on,” he said. “So we felt we had to step in.” 


Tolbert said Zeringue said he couldn’t speak with them because of the investigation. “We want real accountability. We’ve been getting too much lip service; enough is enough,” Tolbert said. 


“Nobody was going to stop the NAACP for doing what was right and speaking up for the people — nobody,” Tolbert said. “What we’re doing and what we’ve always done is for the good of the community.” 


A spokesperson for the Thibodaux Police Department declined to comment, as it is pending litigation.


Tolbert also addressed the shooting that took place in the early Sunday morning in Raceland that resulted in the death of two women. He said people don’t trust the police, so they are afraid to come forward as witnesses. 


“I’ve seen where people call the police and they end up going to jail themself. Sometimes they’ll get a little emotional about what they’re saying,” he said, “and then they get a charge — disturbing the peace or resisting an officer because they get a little emotional.” 


Tolbert said he has been in talks with local ministers and the Sheriff’s Office about getting the community together regarding the incident.