LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– A local activist group requested at Tuesday night’s weekly city and parish council meeting that police release the body camera footage from the April 12 shooting at La Bamba. This shooting led to the death of Deiondre Solomon, 28, of Lafayette.

According to authorities, a Lafayette police officer, whose name has not been released, shot Deiondre Solomon, 28, while working security detail at La Bamba. Police said Solomon was shot after officers found a man, 23, with a gunshot wound. 

“Of course, we heard so many stories as to what may have happened on the resurrection night with Deiondre, but we have not seen anything,” said Devon Norman, president and director of Village 337.

Norman further requested that the council support an ordinance that would require body cam footage in any officer-involved incident to be released within 48 hours of the original incident.

L’Celsie Solomon, Solomon’s mother, said having to bury her son without knowing the events leading to his death is “a hurting pain.”

Many supporters of the organization, and members of the Solomon family, addressed the city council during the public comment section to echo Norman and Solomon’s request.

“No made-up stories. No lies. No cover-ups,” said one woman. “There’s a long history of negligence, incompetence, and utter disregard for others’ lives among the police force of Lafayette, and something must be done in order to prevent these types of situations from happening over and over again.” 

Another supporter said that, as a gun owner, they are afraid to protect themselves without being mistaken for a criminal. They posed the question to the council, “Why should I have that fear?”

Whether or not Solomon was in possession of a weapon the night of his death has lead some people to question where he was a suspect rather than a victim.

“Somebody asked the question whether I believe that he’s innocent. Well, Dre should have received his day in court if he was a suspect. He will not receive that. I’m not a judge, but neither was that officer,” Norman said. 

Norman emphasized the right to bear arms, saying that if Solomon was in possession of a weapon, he was legally justified to have it. However, Norman says no further conclusions can be made without the body cam footage.

“I should not have a fear of the police trying to take my life because I defended myself. So if the story that most of us are hearing, which is that Dre potentially did use the weapon to defend himself, is true, we should see that in the body cam footage, and we shouldn’t have to speculate, especially his mother,” he said. 

Norman also questions the mental history of the officer involved in Solomon’s death. He said anonymous sources from within department told the organization to be mindful of the officer’s mental health history. Norman says it is important to consider whether the officer was in a stable condition to perform his job.

Norman believes that an officer’s mental history, disciplinary history and name should be available to the public if they are involved in any physical altercation or death.

“Law enforcement protects their own, but who’s protecting ours? Who’s protecting and serving our children? How many times does a family have to cry over the loss of their family members because the police decided when they should live or die,” said Pam Thibeaux. 

Thibeaux mentioned other names who have been killed by law enforcement since 2005 including: Trayford Pellerin, Tyron Coates, and Cedric Andrus. She says law enforcement promised to be better trained to not take lives after the death of Pellerin, but alternative measures still are not taken.

“It’s also our own people covering up and throwing some things under the rug instead of attacking the illness that lives within the police force. We deserve answers. We deserve justice not only for Dre but for everyone,” said a young girl. 

Norman said while getting justice for Solomon is personal to him because they grew up together, it is also about eliminating a system that forces the community to beg for their lives to be valued.

“Because if Dre had been involved in an incident that resulted in him having to be subdued, his mother should know that, and furthermore, I should say that there is nothing that a tape being released could do to stop an investigation.” he said.