Lafayette police captain faces allegations of abuse of power, civil service board investigates

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) A Lafayette police captain is facing allegations that he abused his power as an officer.

The complaint comes from a Lafayette resident, who says the captain’s actions were not investigated by Lafayette police.

A local government transparency agency is now asking the Lafayette Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service board to step in.

In December 2020, a Lafayette police captain responded to an incident between a landlord and his tenants.

The landlord says he was trying to collect rent money, but the police captain allegedly told the tenants they did not have to pay rent.

The landlord claims the captain knew the tenants personally. He then filed a complaint that the captain was abusing his power as an officer.

The landlord then learned an internal affairs investigation was never done by Lafayette police.

Michael Lunsford, Executive Director of Citizens of New Louisiana, a local government transparency organization, is now raising concerns with the civil service board after he received a tip from the complainants about the issue.

He made a complaint with the board after discovering Lafayette police did not do an internal affairs investigation on an initial complaint that Captain Michael Brown was allegedly abusing his power as an officer.

The civil service board addressed the issue Wednesday afternoon, questioning Lafayette Police Chief Thomas Glover why an I.A. investigation was not done.

“In this instance, I did nothing that violated any guidelines, any rule or whatever. I assigned it to the commander of internal affairs because of what you said, it was a complaint made on the captain,” Police Chief Thomas Glover said.

Chief Glover says when he received the landlord’s initial complaint, he assigned the investigation to the highest ranking officer in internal affairs. He says it was a shift-level investigation.

“A shift-level investigation is what is routinely ordered on some of the things we think are minor. This is not the only time that I have made a decision as the chief of police not to move forward on an investigation. This is the only one you got a complaint on,” the chief told the board.

Chief Glover says two days later, the lieutenant in charge of investigating the complaint told him she spoke with the people involved and said there was no evidence the captain abused his power.

“At that point, I questioned her in the presence of my administrative assistant. I was satisfied that there was nothing to the complaint,” he said.

The civil service board, however, said it was not an investigation, but more of an inquiry.

“It was looked into. Is that not an investigation? Is that not an investigation?” an attorney representing Lafayette police said.

Although the chief says he feels as if he made the right call, the board says they will further investigate the claims.

The civil service board has subpoenaed more documents and says they will further review the investigation.

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