LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – UPDATE: This evening, Lafayette Consolidated Government stated that is was not issuing a public statement on the matter out of respect for Middlebrook’s family.
ORIGINAL STORY: “You have us; we are with you whatever you need. Please know that you can call on any of us,” City-Parish President Joel Robideaux told Cpl. Michael Middlebrook’s family
at his funeral on Friday, Oct. 6.
But on Monday, Middlebrook’s family’s attorney issued this statement:
“When called upon to fulfill this promise, however, Robideaux and Lafayette Consolidated Government failed this hero’s family. Other than summarily denying a request to maintain benefits at the current level, representatives of LCG have not extended the courtesy of communicating its position.”
Middlebrook was shot and killed on Oct. 1 while responding to an aggravated assault with a fire arm call inside a convenient store.
“He died serving this community,” the officer’s family said via their attorney’s statement. “Within 48 hours of this tragedy, LCG advised ranking officers of the Lafayette Police Department that health insurance coverage would be terminated a mere six days after his death.
When the decision was challenged, LCG promised that it would provide a remedy. Now, three weeks later, the best it says it can do for this family is to saddle them with an extra $4,000 a year in health insurance costs by moving them into retirement status. LCG claims it is working to address this issue, saying it takes time.”
Local government didn’t work fast enough, the statement on to say.
“Today, the Middlebrook family’s insurance premium increased 125 percent with the sole change in circumstances being Cpl. Middlebrook’s line of duty death. This is not how many other cities, like Baton Rouge, handle health benefits for the surviving family members of officers killed in the line of duty. For the rest of their lives, the surviving family members of Baton Rouge officers killed in the line of duty continue to pay the same premiums as every other officer on the force.
The message LCG sent to Cpl. Middlebrook’s widow, Adrien, is also being heard by the hundreds of brave police officers and firefighters working every day to protect us: If you die in the line of
duty, your families are on their own.”