Groups call for Mayo resignation over soft treatment of Henderson cop suspects

Several groups have called for the resignation of Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo after learning that he lied to the general public about the status of the five police officers responsible for the killing of William Henderson.

Lawrence Muhammad, of the Nation of Islam, Ervin “Peter” Turner of the NAACP and The Reverend John L. Russell of the Coalition for Freedom and Justice, surrounded by a throng of people on the steps of city hall at 12 noon today released information that several of the officers involved in the shooting of Henderson were not on paid leave as the mayor repeatedly told the public but were actually returned to duty and made arrests as early as October last year.

The group said Mayo assured the public that the officers were on paid leave and would remain so until the judicial process was exhausted. Mayo’s assurance gave the public false confidence that there was no reason to fear.

The groups asked for Mayo to step down as mayor, for Police Chief Schleuter to be fired, and for the city council to begin steps to change Monroe’s charter to allow for the election of the Police Chief rather than appointment by the mayor.

The groups released documents showing Officer John Drew participated in the arrest of Micheal C. Johnson On October 24, 2004 in a marijuana case. Hawkins and Drew even filed written reports on the matter.

“For this conspiracy, deception, and lies to conceal information from the family of William Mark Henderson, the District Attorney, the Grand Jury, the Justice Department, The Media and the citizens of Monroe√∂ the groups asked for their action.
To cover their status the mayor and police chief repeatedly refused to release any documents that would indicate the officer’s names or whether they were on duty. The mayor’s office said it was not a coverup but was designed just to insure that the proper procedures, according to law, were followed.

Although a stream of editorials and letters in the Black Press blasted the mayor’s policy of allowing the officers to sit at home with pay, the city never volunteered any information that showed that the officers had returned to work long before their January 15 official return to duty.

In a separate but related matter, The Free Press has learned that several of the officers drew a citizen’s complaint from a white male who complained that a group of men were drinking near the levee and yelled at him calling him a “faggot.”

A subsequent police investigation of the complaint revealed that several of the officers involved in the Henderson shooting were celebrating their return to work and reportedly mistook the passerby for a homosexual.

When the police investigated the complaint the investigating officer did not list the names of the officers but protected their identity by describing them as “unidentified white males.”