BROUSSARD, La. (KLFY) — The Broussard Municipal Fire and Police Civil service board upheld the decision to suspend a Broussard Police officer for 30 days.
The appeal hearing for Corporal James Bell was held Monday.
In September, 2021 Bell was found to be in violation of the department’s body cam policy and procedures and in addition, an EMT testified at the hearing that he informed Corporal Bell about suspected narcotics found on the driver.
Here’s audio from the body camera before it shut off:
“I found a bag of crack rocks. What now, I found a bag of crack rocks,” the medic is heard saying.
Broussard Police Chief Vance Olivier testified that Bell’s actions following that traffic stop were inappropriate.
“There were so many steps that he could have taken that he did not. Any police officer with any years of experience should have known better,” Olivier testified.
Olivier said Bell remains employed with the Broussard Police Department.
“We just want to hold our officers accountable and make sure they’re doing a good job. We make sure that the public gets professional police services. This is the part of the checks and balances to make sure that they’re doing what they are supposed to be doing,” the chief explained.
Corporal Bell stated he normally drives a police unit where the body cam is automatic. On the day in question, Bell explained that he had a body cam he had to manually cut off and on.
He added that working in a stressful situation can sometimes have an impact on a person’s response.