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
Louisiana Capitol Building

In this legislative session, Louisiana Republicans flipped the meaning of discrimination | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - June 11, 2021

During a committee meeting where he voted against legislation that sought to protect Louisiana’s LGBTQ renters from housing discrimination, Rep. Danny McCormick (R-Oil City) spoke firsthand about the discrimination he himself has been facing:  “Personally I don’t wear a mask, and I get discriminated against,” he said. In defense of what might be property managers’ […]

COMMENTARY

Dying in jail is bad; dying without being found guilty is worse | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - June 4, 2021

More than 14% of the 786 people who are known to have died behind bars in Louisiana between 2015 and 2019 hadn’t even gone to trial yet. Two of those who died before getting their day in court were juveniles.  To be sure, that doesn’t mean that most of the other deaths aren’t alarming; only […]

COMMENTARY

Where were the ‘good’ police when Ronald Greene was being brutalized? | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - May 28, 2021

During a May 11 debate on the floor of the Louisiana House of Representatives over a bill that would make it easier to sue bad police officers, Rep. Denise Marcelle (D-Baton Rouge), a supporter of the bill, said that about 99.9% of police officers are good.  Marcelle was reiterating a point that had previously been […]

COMMENTARY
Marijuana

Sheriffs oppose marijuana legalization because sheriffs profit from marijuana’s prohibition | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - May 21, 2021

During that embarrassingly brief moment when Louisiana moved from the world’s most prolific incarcerator to the world’s second most prolific incarcerator, the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association went running to the Legislature for more money. While the general public likely interpreted fewer people locked up as a good thing, the sheriffs saw it as a problem that […]

COMMENTARY

In Louisiana, you’ve got your water bill and your drinking-water bill | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - May 14, 2021

Do you remember the start of the pandemic when people rushed grocery stores and bought as much water as they could? And how those stores had to impose limits on how much individuals could purchase, lest they leave none on the shelves? Grocers in Tallulah imposed such limits — 3 gallons of water per shopper […]

COMMENTARY

Nothing but racism explains Black women’s higher rate of horrible birth stories | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - May 7, 2021

Tatyana Ali, who starred as Ashley Banks on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” from 1990 to 1996, entered Harvard the next year where she double majored in government and African-American studies. In 2016, Ali and her husband, an English professor at Stanford, welcomed their first child, but only after mother and baby were roughly treated […]

Heartbreaking stories of Black maternal deaths, pregnancy complications, racism related at hearing

By: and - May 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — When U.S. Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri was pregnant with her first child, Zion, she saw a sign in her doctor’s office encouraging her to speak up about anything unusual she was feeling. She did so, telling her physician that she was having severe pains, but her concerns were swiftly dismissed. The doctor […]

COMMENTARY

Ray Garofalo won’t get to pass his shaky grasp of history down to Louisiana’s students | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - April 30, 2021

If Louisiana Rep. Ray Garofalo, a Chalmette Republican, had been engaged in some noble purpose Tuesday — that is, if he had been putting forward a bill that would have been an actual benefit to anybody — then his statement that the state’s teachers should be made to teach “the good, the bad, the ugly” […]

Winner of Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District to be determined in Saturday’s runoff

By: - April 23, 2021

Karen Carter-Peterson and Troy Carter, two veteran state lawmakers — both from New Orleans and both Democrats — go head-to-head Saturday in a runoff to fill the open seat for representative of Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District. The seat was left open when Cedric Richmond, who was first elected to Congress in 2010, took a role […]

COMMENTARY

Supreme Court ruling may doom more Louisiana juveniles to permanent imprisonment | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - April 23, 2021

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile defendants don’t jibe with the Eighth Amendment’s ban on “cruel and unusual punishment” and be imposed on the rare juvenile who is “permanently incorrigible,” Louisiana has acted as if incorrigibility isn’t rare at all. It has acted as if […]

COMMENTARY

Losing mothers and their babies remains a big problem in Louisiana | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - April 16, 2021

Motorists in Baton Rouge may have seen a billboard on I-12 depicting a balding White man holding open his shirt to reveal a long surgical scar down his chest.  “THIS IS WHAT HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE LOOKS LIKE,” the sign reads, as it shows a blood pressure measurement of 145/90. Yes, a scar from open heart […]

COMMENTARY
Governor John Bel Edwards

The novel coronavirus has no politics, but people threatened by it obviously do | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - April 2, 2021

It is accepted as a truism in the public health world that health information should be communicated to the public by someone other than elected officials — lest that information be rejected by everybody who doesn’t care for those officials or their party. However, people elect mayors, governors and presidents whom they expect to be […]