William Henderson shooters call white man on levee “Faggot”

City officials are tight-lipped about a levee side party held by several of the shooters in the William Henderson in which they reportedly called white citizens “faggots” and threatened to beat and jail a park superintendent who they reportedly called a “faggot.”

The accusation surfaced last week on the heels of a press conference on the steps of city hall by a coalition of Black groups that demanded Mayor Jamie Mayo resign, and Police Chief Ron Schleuter be fired.

The group revealed documents last week that reportedly showed that several of the officers who were supposedly placed on leave after participating in the shooting of Henderson in August of last year, were actually returned to work as early as October 22, 2004, just two months after the shooting.

The group accused the mayor of lying to the public and holding back public information to cover the fact that the officers had been put back on the street.

The mayor said the trio of groups led by the local NAACP, had a political agenda that seeks his recall.

Chief Schleuter said the department was short-handed and since the officers had passed psychological exams he put them back to work. He said the mayor later instructed him to return them to paid administrative leave.

Neither Mayo or Schleuter explained why the public was never told that the shooters had been put back to work.

The Free Press learned last week that after four of the shooters returned to work on October 22, 2004, they held a party when their shift ended at 1:30 a.m. on the morning of October 23, 2004, at the Forsythe Picnic Area to celebrate their return.

During their party, reportedly joined by several other off duty officers, the officers were publicly drinking and intoxicated, in violation of the open container law, in the presence of two police department supervisors.

The matter came to light after Carl White, the Forsythe Park Superintendent, wrote a letter to the mayor complaining that the intoxicated officers yelled profanities and references to ôfaggotsö at cars that drove passed them.

In White’s letter of October 25, 2004, to Mayor Mayo he said, ôOn the loop, I stopped at the group’s location and was greeted with, “Hey Baby.” I commented, “It looks like you guys are having a party.” From the group came the following reply, ôYeah, but you’re not invited, we don’t like god damn faggots.”

White said the group continued, “We are all police, you best carry your ass before you get it beat. I informed the group that I was a Monroe City Employee and worked as Park Superintendent. They countered with comments such as, “We don’t give a shit who you are, you best carry your ass before we put you in jail.”

White said he reported the behavior to a patrolling officer but the officer told him the men were not police officers. He said he was not allowed to write down license tag numbers off their cars. White said the officer became agitated because he was suspicious of his pervasiveness.

“I was threatened with bodily harm, arrest and was subjected to verbal intimidation. I do have concerns about retaliation by this group.” Said White.

In response, the city gave the following statement Wednesday: “A Monroe Police Department investigation was conducted involving the complaint launched by Forsythe Park Superintendent Carl White against Monroe Police Officer Kevin Willis, because of an incident that happened on October 23, 2004. According to the results of the internal investigation, which included statements from witnesses who were present during the verbal encounter, Officer Kevin Willis was guilty of the complaint launched against him and was recommended for termination as a result of that investigation. The witnesses who were present during this incident were Monroe Police Officers, specifically those involved in the Henderson shooting. Their statements were crucial in determining the outcome of the investigation. I believe the officer wants to get his job back and the matter will soon be brought before the Civil Service Board. However, the city feels he was wrong in his actions and should remain off the police force.”

The city did not address claims that several officers were drinking, disturbing the peace and breaking the law.

Last week the Nation of Islam, The Coalition for Justice and the NAACP hosted a joint news conference on the steps on the City Hall saying Mayo breached the public’s confidence when he repeatedly said the officers were not on the street, knowing it was not true.

The mayor dismissed their comments as political.