Reinstate Deputy Joseph Paul Cehan III, and Deputy Charles David Cook Jr.
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On Monday, May 15th 2017, two sheriff's deputies were fired in response to a cell phone video of them arresting Christopher Verdin Jr. being posted on facebook. With the recent uproar in police violence being cast across the nation, two officers in good standing have lost their job a mere day and a half after the incident occurred, as a result of this trending view of police officers in our nation.
Official announcement by TPSO:
"May 13, 2017
Sheriff Jerry Larpenter said that on May 13, 2017, Saturday evening, at approximately 6:45 p.m. Terrebonne Parish deputies were called to 7077 Grand Caillou Rd. Dulac in reference to a disturbance.
The mother informed dispatch that she needed deputies there as soon as possible because her son, Christopher Verdin Jr., was on Crystal Meth and she feared for her life. The mother stated that he was wanting more Crystal Meth. She said that he hit their dog in the head with a crescent wrench. She said that Verdin also pulled a .45 caliber handgun from his waist band and fired two shots at the dog that was very close to her. The mother locked herself inside of the residence and said that Verdin left walking.
Deputies responding to this call located Verdin walking in the 7100 block of Grand Caillou Rd. which is approximately ¼ of a mile south of his home. Verdin was handcuffed and taken into custody. During the search of his person deputies found the .45 caliber handgun described by his mother. The handgun was recovered from the waistband of his pants along with an extended magazine (clip).
Verdin was then transported back to the scene in order to continue with this investigation. While Verdin was in the backseat of the initial patrol car he was out of control as he was kicking the door and spitting. A deputy then opened the door of the patrol car in order get Verdin to stop. Verdin refused to stop kicking and spitting; therefore, he was being ordered out of this patrol car. The deputy was instructing Verdin to get out of this patrol car to be placed in the second patrol car and he refused. Verdin and the deputy exchanged curse words towards one another.
A citizen at the scene used his cell phone to video record this incident that only captures a portion of the incident. This video has been shared on social media. The deputy choice of words was not very professional and does not reflect the integrity of the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office. The camera footage on the deputies’ body cameras will be reviewed and this matter will be thoroughly investigated, appropriate action will be taken.
Christopher Lee Verdin Jr., age 18, 7077 Grand Caillou Rd. Dulac was arrested for illegal use of a weapon, illegal carrying of a weapon and aggravated cruelty to animals. Verdin remains in the Terrebonne Parish Criminal Justice Complex awaiting a bond hearing."
Video of the incident: https://www.facebook.com/frankie.duplantis/videos/1504824072863266/
Announcement of the firing:
"May 15, 2017 (Update)
Sheriff Jerry Larpenter stated that after an internal affairs investigation was completed two Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s deputies were terminated. The two deputies were terminated for violating TPSO policy “Conduct unbecoming of a Police Officer.” Also, a rookie deputy was given a letter of reprimand.
The incident in question resulted from the complaint in which an 18 year old man beat a dog on the head with a crescent wrench and then fired two shots at the dog with a .45 caliber handgun. The mother of the suspect stood by and witnessed the entire incident as it unfolded fearing for her safety. The mother frantically called the Sheriff’s Office regarding the incident where the deputies were dispatched and a lawful arrest was secured.
Christopher Lee Verdin Jr., age 18, 7077 Grand Caillou Rd. Dulac was arrested for illegal use of a weapon, illegal carrying of a weapon and aggravated cruelty to animals. Verdin remains in the Terrebonne Parish Criminal Justice on a $75,000.00 bond.
The two deputies terminated are as follows:
• Joseph Paul Cehan III, age 25, was hired in June of 2014 as a patrol deputy.
• Charles David Cook Jr., age 26, was hired in July 2013 as a correctional officer and later transferred to the patrol division in August of 2014.
The action of these deputies that was shared on social media does not reflect the attitude, training and professionalism of our office and Will Not be Tolerated."
In response to this, people have been commenting in support of the two officers:
One person commented: "I've have dealings with Deputy Cehan. He was nothing but respectful and helpful. Went above and beyond to assist our situation."
Another also commented: "This is ridiculous. Cook has been the responding officer to many of my calls. He is a very good officer and always handled the situations very well...."
In a society where we protect criminals over our boys in blue, we will never truly be safe.
Let's get enough signatures to bring awareness that these two officers have been wrongfully terminated for simply being human. Without us having our police officers backs, no one else will. No one, especially people of public service especially law enforcement, deserves to be thrown under the bus for simply words spoken. In my childhood, I was taught respect was earned, not given. This entitlement era of young people being able to do and say as they want with no fear of repercussion needs to end, and the only way to do that is to give our officers the backup they need, our support.
How are the police supposed to protect us if we can't protect them?
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