Update July 15, 2022: Police Chief Apologizes to Louisiana Woman Cited for Indecent Exposure
Casey LaCaze-Lachney and her attorney Randall T. Hayes met with the Winnfield Chief of Police Johnny Ray Carpenter on Tuesday, July 12, regarding an indecent exposure citation LaCaze-Lachney received while attending a festival in downtown Winnfield and took to TikTok to complain.
According to a Shreveport Times story, Hayes and LaCaze-Lachney met with Police Chief Johnny Ray Carpenter and Winnfield City Attorney Herman Castete on Tuesday. Hayes said both Carpenter and Castete acknowledged that LaCaze-Lachney did not violate the city’s indecent exposure ordinance.
“Mr. Castete said that he will have the citation officially dismissed,” said Hayes. “Both men told us that there is no body camera video of the incident. According to Chief Carpenter, the officers all failed to turn on their cameras.”
Hayes reports that Carpenter stated that Lieutenant Chuck Curry instructed the three police officers to issue that indecent exposure citation. Winnfield Police Communications Officer Doris Pailet confirmed one of the three officers was Lt. Curry’s wife, Angie Curry.
“This means that the ordinance was improperly enforced not just by three lower-level officers but by the police department’s lieutenant,” explained Hayes. “It also means that those officers failed to turn on their body cameras even though they were responding to a matter to which they had been directed by the lieutenant.”
Hayes said Carpenter found a video a bystander took at the festival showing part of LaCaze-Lachney’s encounter with the police officers. Carpenter confirmed that she was wearing the same outfit in the bystander video that she was wearing in the now viral TikTok. (Bystander video can be seen on LaCaze-Lachney’s TikTok as well)
“We are pleased that Casey is being officially exonerated,” said Hayes. “We appreciate Chief Carpenter’s gracious apology. We thank both Chief Carpenter and Mr. Castete for acknowledging the mistakes the department made in this situation. We are not completely satisfied, though. There are some serious problems, seemingly systematic ones, in how the Winnfield Police Department operates. I have to wonder how many times this city ordinance and others have been improperly enforced against people who were never vindicated because they were not as social media savvy as Casey.”
Following the meeting with officials, LaCaze-Lachney posted an update on her TikTok account where she commended Carpenter on his apology and filled in her followers on how the meeting went.
“The Chief of Police has full respect from me,” said LaCaze-Lachney in the video. “He looked me in the eye today and apologized on behalf of everybody and was like, ‘I am sorry you went through that; you shouldn’t have gone through that.’ He is not against me; none of them are against me.”
According to Hayes, he and LaCaze-Lachney are deciding how to move forward with the information they received at the meeting.
According to a message sent to the WPJ over the weekend, Attorney Randall T. Hayes, who represents Casey LaCaze-Lachney, has been in contact with Winnfield Police Chief Johnny Ray Carpenter. So far, Hayes’ request for the body cam footage of the three female police officers who gave the citation has not been fulfilled.
Assistant Police Chief Russell Jones clarified this was because the incident is still under investigation and advised Hayes to speak with City Prosecutor Herman Castete, who advises the department on what can be released.
Hayes said Carpenter has agreed to meet with him and LaCaze-Lachney next week to discuss the issue but still needs to speak with two of the police officers who were at the scene that day.
“I reminded the chief that I requested the body camera video from this incident early last week,” Hayes said. “I told him that I would like to know when the video will be provided. He said he and the city attorney will call me about that next week.”
Updated Story June 24, 2022:
In an email to the Winn Parish Journal Casey LaCaze-Lachney’s attorney Randall T. Hayes issued the following statement:
“I don’t ever want another person to feel the embarrassment I felt in front of my children.”
On June 11, 2022, a young woman named Casey was attending a summer festival with her family in Winnfield, Louisiana, when she was approached by three police officers. Those officers issued Casey a citation for violation of the city’s Indecent Exposure ordinance.
The ordinance says that it “shall be unlawful for any person to wear pants, trousers, shorts, skirts, dresses, or skorts in any public place or place open to the public which either intentionally exposes undergarments or which intentionally exposes any portion of the pubic hair, cleft of the buttocks, or genitals.”
There are two elements to this crime that Casey is alleged to have committed. One: The undergarments or one of the body parts mentioned must be exposed. Two: The exposure must be intentional.
Neither of these elements was met. There is no evidence that Casey even unintentionally exposed herself in any of the ways covered by the ordinance. The claim that Casey intentionally did anything like that while attending a festival with her husband and her children in downtown Winnfield is not believable.
With the hope of bringing this matter to a close, on Monday, June 20, we requested the body camera video of Casey’s encounter with the police. I faxed a written request to Winnfield Police Chief Johnny Ray Carpenter’s office. I confirmed by telephone that the fax had been received. I made repeated telephone calls to the police department. I have been told that the chief, then the assistant chief, then the lieutenant would call me back. I am still waiting for those calls. Well over 48 hours after we made the request, we still do not have the video which could resolve this matter, nor have we gotten an explanation for why we have not gotten the video.
Casey is not looking for money. She is not asking that anyone be fired over one mistake.
When I asked Casey what resolution she wanted, she said, “I don’t ever want another person to feel the embarrassment I felt in front of my children.”
Casey wants an acknowledgment that this citation should have never been written. She wants an apology from the police officers for how they handled this incident. She wants a commitment from the City of Winnfield that its police officers will have proper training on how to enforce the city’s Indecent Exposure ordinance. She wants to make sure that in the future a woman will be able to attend a festival in Winnfield without being harassed simply because of how she is dressed.
Read the original story from June 15, 2022 here –
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