LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – A Lafayette civil rights organization is calling for authorities to release body camera video showing what happened in the moments before a man was shot by a Lafayette police officer.
The Lafayette police officer who fired the shot and killed 28-year-old Deiondre Solomon is currently on paid administrative leave, as state police investigate. As that investigation takes place, the civil rights group, The Village 337, is asking for transparency.
“What I’m concerned about is what caused the officer to determine he was an immediate threat to him and every person around him because to me, that would be the only reason why you would have to take somebody’s life,” Devon Norman, President and Director of The Village 337, said.
Norman says they have several demands: release the name of the police officer, release any disciplinary records that may exist involving the officer, and release the body camera video.
“Release the footage. Let the community make that determination. I believe that we can,” he added. “Be transparent. Otherwise, we will move to further action, in which you have seen in the likes of protests, sit-ins. We’ll do whatever we have to do to make it known that we won’t go for this.”
Norman says there’s distrust between the black community and police. He adds state police’s investigation into Ronald Greene’s death in 2019 makes him fearful.
“Let’s be very clear. Louisiana State Police is currently under investigation by the United States Department of Justice. We have already submitted what happened to our contacts with the U.S. Department of Justice,” he told News Ten.
News Ten asked Louisiana State Police to release the body camera video. A spokesperson told us that decision will be made by the district attorney’s office.
Norman says The Village 337 just wants full transparency of what took place Sunday night.
“These are all the questions we have. But we have no answers, and it’s Wednesday, 3 days after this incident has taken place,” he said.
He also tells News Ten that The Village 337 is in talks with Lafayette city council members about creating a law that would require body camera video to be released within 48 hours of an incident. Meanwhile, Solomon’s family will hold a vigil for him Friday.
News Ten also reached out to Lafayette police. A spokesperson told us they are not releasing the officer’s name, as it is an active investigation. When we asked for the body camera video, Lafayette police told us the video cannot be released until the conclusion of the investigations.