Lafayette Parish families ask for justice and police reform

Lafayette Parish

Lafayette, La. (KLFY) — Families separated from loved ones after police encounters met Wednesday to voice the reform they want to see in Lafayette Parish.
They joined the NAACP in making three demands of law enforcement.

Two parents spoke at the Imani Temple. The first will never see her son, Nathaniel McCoy, breathe again. The second will never see his son, Curtis Franklin, walk again.

“I speak on justice for all mothers, fathers, families who has lost a child by the hands of the police officers,” said Sandra Comeaux said moved to tears.

Her son, Nathaniel McCoy died two years ago after the response of Carencro Police. Officers responded to a “disturbing the peace” call outside McCoy’s home and used three tasers on him. McCoy was taken to the hospital where he died. His mother said further police reform, accountability, and transparency are needed so another mother doesn’t have to feel the pain she feels does.

“I will never stop pushing for justice because my son’s life was taken, and he’s not here to fight for himself, so I will speak for him and fight for him,” expressed Comeaux. “My son, Nathaniel McCoy’s, life matters.”

The second family who spoke has a son who’s now paralyzed in jail. Curtis Francis has a $700K bond. State Police say Curtis ran from the Lafayette Police Department after a traffic stop. He had warrants, allegedly fought with officers, and was shot at that time. Authorities charged him with four counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault by drive-by shooting not related to the officer-involved shooting. Curtis’ family said they can’t afford to pay his $700K bond, and because he’s paralyzed, he’s been moved across the state where it is difficult to see him.

Norris Stiner, Curtis’ father said, “That’s a hurting feeling for me to feel that way about my child, and they didn’t tell nobody they were taking my child. They just left with him. Cops did do what they want to do that day, so something has to be done about this.”

Three demands were given in the NAACP address: the creation of a citizen law enforcement oversight committee, adoption of the 21st Century Policing Blueprint practices, and release of video footage from these types of encounters.

Comeaux voiced the thoughts of many in the room when she said, “These officers need to be accounted for what they do. Until there is accountability, this will continue.”

The shooting and paralyzing of Francis are under State Police investigation. McCoy’s death has pending litigation from family.

Starting in November families who’ve lost loved ones to violence can meet at the Imani Temple in a new support group called Weeping Families of Fallen Angels. They’ll meet on the second Monday of each month starting @7 P.M.

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