LAFAYETTE – The ACLU of Louisiana released the following statement regarding the fatal shooting of Trayford Pellerin by Lafayette police officers on Friday night. According to video footage and media reports from the scene, Pellerin was shot with multiple rounds while moving away from police officers outside a convenience store. According to The Advocate, the incident is the third officer-involved shooting by Lafayette police in five weeks.
“Once again, video footage has captured a horrific and deadly incident of police violence against a Black person who was brutally killed in front of our eyes,” said Alanah Odoms Hebert, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana. “While we need to know much more about what occurred last night, we know that it began with a routine ‘disturbance’ call and cell phone video from the scene clearly shows Mr. Pellerin moving away – not towards – police officers, only to be tased and then brutally shot dead. Trayford Pellerin should be alive today. Instead, a family is mourning and a community is grieving. Mr. Pellerin's family and the people of Lafayette deserve answers and an independent investigation of what was clearly an inappropriate and excessive use of force by these officers. None of our communities are safe when the police can murder people with impunity or when routine encounters escalate into deadly shooting sprees. The ACLU of Louisiana will continue to demand justice for this brutal killing and push for reforms that will end the epidemic of police violence once and for all.”
A new ACLU report, “The Other Epidemic: Fatal Police Shootings in the Time of COVID-19,” finds that fatal shootings by police in Louisiana have continued unabated despite the pandemic. The report finds that fatal shootings by police are so routine that, even during a national pandemic, with far fewer people traveling outside of their homes, police have continued to fatally shoot people at the same rate so far in 2020 as they did in the same period from 2015 to 2019. Further, the analysis reveals that Black, Native American/Indigenous, and Latinx people are still more likely than white people to be killed by police.
Earlier this year, the ACLU of Louisiana launched Justice Lab: Putting Racist Policing on Trial. Through direct legal representation and community advocacy, Justice Lab aims to create a partnership among directly-impacted people, communities, private law firms, and legal clinics to challenge racially discriminatory policing practices in Louisiana. The initiative seeks to empower directly-impacted families and communities in taking on this fight.
Justice Lab is currently seeking potential plaintiffs to come forward to challenge racist and unconstitutional police practices. People who have had negative race-based interactions with the police are encouraged to contact the ACLU of Louisiana’s Justice Lab at email@example.com or call (504) 522-0628 and leave a message.