OBERLIN, La. (Associated Press) – The board of a Louisiana cemetery that denied burial to a Black sheriff’s deputy is holding an emergency meeting Thursday to remove a whites-only provision from its sales contracts.
Board President H. Creig Vizena said he was stunned and ashamed to learn that the family of Allen Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Darrell Semien, who died Sunday, had been told that he could not be buried at the Oaklin Springs Cemetery near Oberlin in southwest Louisiana because he was African American.
Vizena says the offensive wording was in a sales contract that has been used since the cemetery was created in the late 1950s.
Deputy Semien passed away on Sunday. He served in the Transport Division at Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office as well as a patrolmen for Reeves Police Department.