City-Parish President Joey Durel is calling for an outside investigation of the city’s police department in response to a federal lawsuit alleging a laundry list of misdeeds and overall corruption and intimidation within LPD’s administration.

The “ugly accusations,” as Durel describes them in an interview with KATC, stem from nine former and current LPD officers who first outlined their complaints in a lawsuit filed May 23 in district court. The latest lawsuit in federal court comes after a district judge denied the officers’ request for a temporary restraining order May 29.

The 38-page federal lawsuit, which can be accessed on a website that appears to be linked to the officers involved in the suit, describes, among numerous other allegations, an unwritten “Code of Silence” in which officers are punished if they speak out against the misconduct of others on the force.  

The disgruntled officers cast Police Chief Jim Craft as a leader who “fostered, engendered, and otherwise generally ratified and supported a police department which is fundamentally ‘rotten to the core.’ ” Click here to read a letter Craft sent to LPD employees addressing the allegations, as posted on KLFY’s website.

Durel has been mum on the officers' claims until this week, according to KATC. He now says he’ll ask State Police or another outside law enforcement agencies to conduct an investigation of the department and the allegations against it.

“There’s perceptions and there’s mis-perceptions and sometimes there’s other motivations, so we need to find out what the truth is,” he says.

Read the full KATC report here.

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