Author

Jarvis DeBerry

Jarvis DeBerry

Jarvis DeBerry, former editor of the Louisiana Illuminator, spent 22 years at The Times-Picayune (and later NOLA.com) as a crime and courts reporter, an editorial writer, columnist and deputy opinions editor. He was on the team of Times-Picayune journalists awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service after that team’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the deadly flood that followed. In addition to the shared Pulitzer, DeBerry has won awards from the Louisiana Bar Association for best trial coverage and awards from the New Orleans Press Club, the Louisiana/ Mississippi Associated Press and the National Association of Black Journalists for his columns. A collection of his Times-Picayune columns, “I Feel to Believe” was published by the University of New Orleans Press in September 2020.

COMMENTARY

COVID-19 was never a Black people disease; it was just killing mostly Black people

By: - July 15, 2020

“Maybe next time you see Black people in trouble you’ll help. Maybe.” — Richard Pryor, in a 1983 routine recorded at New Orleans’ Saenger Theatre. David Jackson, a 45-year-old Black man who lives in New Orleans, is the Facebook friend who had the most shocking response to a pair of questions I recently posted: How […]

Rise St. James files injunction seeking to halt construction of $9.4B Formosa Plastics plant

By: - July 15, 2020

Rise St. James, a faith-based environmental justice group in St. James Parish took its fight against Formosa Plastics to Washington Tuesday by asking a federal judge in the District of Columbia to issue an injunction against the Taiwanese corporation’s plan to construct a $9.4 B, 1,500-acre plastics manufacturing complex.  The group alleges that the U.S. […]

Vice President Mike Pence to visit Baton Rouge Tuesday to discuss Louisiana’s COVID-19 response

By: - July 10, 2020

Louisiana, especially the Baton Rouge area, has seen a disturbing spike in COVID-19 cases, which has caused the federal government to make the capital city one of three cities nationwide where it’s adding 5,000 COVID-19 tests a day.  Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the federal government’s coronavirus task force, will travel to Baton Rouge […]

Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force to hold public meeting Friday

By: - July 9, 2020

A task force established by Gov. John Bel Edwards to help address the racial disparities apparent in Louisiana’s COVID-19 death toll will hold a meeting that the public can watch online at 2 p.m. Friday afternoon. The Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force has submitted a report to Edwards that makes recommendations on how to […]

Two Louisiana law school clinics join ACLU of Louisiana’s effort to curb racist policing

By: - July 9, 2020

In Episode 2 of the Louisiana Illuminator podcast, Kenneth Polite, former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, talks to host Julie O’Donoghue about the decision made by Morgan Lewis law firm, where Polite is a partner, to join with 17 other firms and the ACLU of Louisiana to help people file lawsuits related […]

House petition case: Governor asks court to stop GOP from interfering

Judges forcing in-court appearances are violating the law, disability-rights activists say

By: - July 7, 2020

Concerned about evictions that are already taking place and fearing an overwhelming wave of evictions on the horizon, a collection of civil rights attorneys, fair housing advocates and disability-rights advocates has asked Louisiana Chief Justice Bernette Johnson to order lower courts to make reasonable accommodations for people who are more vulnerable to COVID-19. In a […]

Office of Motor Vehicles locations closed after employee tests positive for COVID-19

By: - July 6, 2020

Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles locations in Alexandria, Lafayette, Monroe and Shreveport were added to a list of previously closed locations Monday after an OMV employee tested positive for COVID-19. Karen St. Germain, commissioner of the Louisiana OMV said in a news release that the employee in question was serving in an administrative role and, […]

COMMENTARY

Don’t blame police protests for spiking COVID-19 cases

By: - July 6, 2020

People in Minneapolis erupted in anger at the video of Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, as they should have, but the large public demonstrations of anger seemed certain to make worse the apocalyptic moment we had already entered.  When the anger out of Minneapolis spread across the country, […]

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott requires residents to wear masks in public

By: - July 2, 2020

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered residents of the state to wear masks in public Thursday, July 2. Abbott’s order takes effect Friday, July 3, at noon, and repeat offenders risk being fined $250. “Wearing a face covering in public is proven to be one of the most effective ways we have to slow the spread […]

Baton Rouge the latest Louisiana jurisdiction to require face masks

By: - July 1, 2020

Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced on Twitter Wednesday afternoon her plan to sign an executive order mandating face coverings for people inside businesses. Broome follows New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng who have already issued mask mandates for their jurisdictions, . “COVID-19 presents a clear and present […]

Caddo Parish grand jury accuses 8 Shreveport police officers of using excessive force

By: - June 30, 2020

A week after the Louisiana Legislature agreed to study police abuse in Louisiana, a grand jury in Caddo Parish handed up indictments against eight Shreveport police officers who booked two men on drug and weapons charges and running from the police Jan. 24. Caddo Parish District Attorney James E. Stewart said in a Tuesday press […]

COMMENTARY

Stories of hardship ignored by Republicans on Louisiana House labor committee

By: - June 29, 2020

William Kenneth Walker, a bartender at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, told the Louisiana House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee Friday that the decision to convert the convention center into a makeshift hospital for COVID-19 patients means that he doesn’t think he’ll be going back to work “no time soon.” “And […]