FOX 8 CrimeTracker: NOPD officer's complaint history examined - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

FOX 8 CrimeTracker: NOPD officer's complaint history examined

FOX 8 has uncovered what one investigator calls an "excessive complaint" history against an officer under review for shooting a suspect.

When officers Lisa Lewis and Patrick Guidry made what police call a felony stop on Aug. 1 in Algiers, police say Lewis fired her weapon twice. One of those bullets struck 26-year-old Armond Bennett in the head.

It wasn't the first time Lewis and Bennett had crossed paths. A week before the shooting police say the two got into a fight during a traffic stop and Bennett escaped.

Both incidents are now raising serious questions.

"What were the conditions with the first stop? What were the conditions with the second stop? What was the connection between the two stops?" asked Deputy Independent Police Monitor Simone Levine

The NOPD is investigating and the office of the Independent Police Monitor is very much involved.

"We monitor the interviews with the officers themselves, so we're working closely with PIB and also with the family," Levine said.

FOX 8 requested body camera or dash cam video from the shooting incident, but the NOPD said none exists, despite a policy that requires officers to activate their body cameras for all field contacts involving actual or potential criminal conduct.

"The Department of Justice has been working on that policy with NOPD," Levine said. "It is a policy that has been approved and is in effect. It is my understanding that officers need to use their body cameras on all traffic stops, and we have not seen any video footage as of yet."

FOX 8 also obtained the complaint histories for Lewis and Guidry.

Lewis joined the department in 2008. Since then, eight citizen-initiated complaints against her have been filed. Of those, five were not sustained, meaning there wasn't sufficient evidence to hold her accountable.

In one complaint case, Lewis was counseled. In another case involving neglect of duty, there was no formal investigation. One case is still pending, and it involves false or inaccurate reports.

Aside from the citizen complaints, a ranking officer filed an additional complaint against Lewis, but she was exonerated.

Also in her file are two recorded incidents of use of force, one involving a stun gun, the other labeled physical force or use of hands.

Guidry joined the force in 2012. He has five citizen-initiated complaints against him. He was exonerated in two of the cases. In two others, there was insufficient evidence, and in one case there was no formal investigation.

According to his file, he has used excessive force five times in the past two-and-a-half years.

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.

 

 

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