Investigations

the taillight of a sheriff's patrol car with lights atop the roof flashin

Almost half of Louisiana sheriffs are violating public record laws

BY: - January 26, 2023

Nearly half of Louisiana sheriffs are in violation of a state law regulating the preservation and destruction of public records, according to documents provided by state officials. Of the 64 sheriffs statewide, 23 have never secured state approval for a records retention policy, three allowed their policies to expire, one as far back as 1980, […]

A sign notes the presence of surveillance cameras in the Jackson Square area of New Orleans' French Quarter.

Surveillance cameras recorded you. Who should be able to see?

BY: - January 14, 2023

NEW ORLEANS – As local law enforcement collects more and more video surveillance footage from public spaces, government agencies are being forced to grapple with whether the public should be allowed to see it. And not everyone is on the same page. “It’s a really tough issue, and most public bodies haven’t figured it out […]

LSU Memorial Tower

LSU professor promoted after misconduct allegations, lawsuit against accuser 

BY: - January 13, 2023

An LSU professor who sued a man for defamation for reporting him to police and the university for an allegation of rape has agreed to settle with the defendant. The alleged victim claims the lawsuit was retaliatory.  According to documents filed in Baton Rouge City Court in January 2021, the accuser, who asked not to […]

Shredded paper exits a paper shredder

Louisiana sheriff’s dept. has destroyed records of alleged officer misconduct for years

BY: - January 12, 2023

NEW ORLEANS – The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office has been unlawfully destroying its deputies’ disciplinary records for at least 10 years, according to records provided by state officials responsible for overseeing the retention of records by state, parish and local agencies. The finding comes at a time when the Sheriff’s Office is facing multiple lawsuits […]

A sticker the windshield of James Kittling's pickup truck indicates it passed inspection before a Rapides Parish deputy pulled him over Nov. 6, 2022, for suspected illegal window tint and muffler modifications.

Rapides traffic stop shooting shines light on window tint enforcement

BY: - January 3, 2023

ALEXANDRIA – James Kittling remembers Nov. 6 starting like many other Sundays during football season. He was going to watch the Saints game with his brother, Derrick. “I was gonna smother some pork chops,” James Kittling said, “make some rice and gravy, string beans, probably put some corn on the side. Before he left, I […]

Leonard Brown and Denver Smith

Gov. Edwards issues state apology for fatal 1972 shootings at Southern University

BY: - November 16, 2022

By Drew Hawkins and Claire Sullivan Gov. John Bel Edwards apologized Wednesday on behalf of the state to former Southern University protest leaders and the families of two Southern students who were killed by an unidentified sheriff’s deputy 50 years ago. “To the extent that the state of Louisiana can try to make this right, […]

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell

Mastercard gave New Orleans $100K for ‘truly needy.’ City couldn’t get people to take cash.

BY: - November 8, 2022

NEW ORLEANS – In November of last year,  Mayor LaToya Cantrell gathered finance executives and community leaders on a basketball court inside a city recreation center to announce a new initiative that, she said, was aimed at addressing the city’s racial wealth gap. The mayor’s vision centered on the Crescent City Card, a quasi-municipal ID […]

Governor: Some lawmakers focused on ‘non-issues’

Two applicants for Capitol police chief have made headlines

BY: - October 27, 2022

State lawmakers will choose the first ever Capitol police chief in the coming weeks, and the law enforcement professionals who have put their names up for consideration include two who were involved in notable incidents related to their jobs. T.J. Gaughf, director of training for the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Rodney Hyatt, a state […]

AT&T, Verizon internet service slower – but not cheaper – in New Orleans’ poor, Black neighborhoods

BY: and - October 20, 2022

A couple of years into the pandemic, Shirley Neville had finally had enough of her crappy internet service. “It was just a headache,” said Neville, who lives in a middle-class neighborhood in New Orleans whose residents are almost all Black or Latino. “When I was getting ready to use my tablet for a meeting, it […]

Sinking homes, damaged roads: How a New Orleans community struggles against subsidence

BY: - October 12, 2022

This story was reported through a partnership that includes the Louisiana Illuminator, Floodlight, The Lens, WWNO-FM and The Guardian.  NEW ORLEANS – In the early 1990s, James Wright lost his family home in the 9th Ward neighborhood when a new school was built on his block. “They basically took our houses because they gave us […]

A view from the corridor of a prison with an incarcerated person inside cell doorway.

Costs of incarceration rise as inflation squeezes inmates, families

BY: - October 11, 2022

Across the nation, prison commissaries are raising prices on items that many consider basic necessities — from deodorant to fresh fruit — not provided by the state department of corrections. The markups come as decades-high inflation is also squeezing inmates’ families, making it harder for them to help.  It’s a burden that families shouldn’t have […]

Which officials have early access to LSU season tickets, parking passes?

BY: - October 6, 2022

Among the perks provided to select Louisiana officials – elected and appointed – is early access to buy season tickets ahead of the general public for LSU sports. For premium seats at Tiger Stadium, they are allowed to bypass a waitlist. On top of that, the majority of these officials are given early access to […]