Even before the ceremony began, there was a distinct buzz in the hall of the fourth floor of the Lafayette Parish Courthouse, a sense of pride and accomplishment on the faces of those packing the outside of District Judge Jules Edwards’ courtroom. On April 29, Edwards ushered in the crowd, beginning the commencement ceremony that honored 15 graduates of 15th JDC’s adult drug court program. It was a moving and uplifting ceremony that revealed how judicial intervention programs for non-violent drug offenders, especially those tailored to an individual’s specific drug and mental problems, can turn lives around. The intensive outpatient program, implemented in 1998 and funded by the Louisiana Supreme Court, LCG and 15th JDC judges, takes a minimum of two years to complete and requires participants to get a GED. The last stop before prison, drug court proves treatment and justice can effectively work together. Our kudos to the grads.

Photo by Lanie Cook

We’re having a hard time buying Deputy Marshal Nathan Broussard’s version of events that led to the arrest of one of our own, Lanie Cook, a 22-year-old UL Lafayette student who has just signed on as an intern at the paper. An aspiring journalist/photojournalist, Cook was exercising her First Amendment rights by taking pictures of Broussard in the line of duty at Parc International the Thursday night of Festival International. Broussard, according to an “eyewitness” from KLFY-TV10, came toward Cook and a drunken young man after the young man yelled at the officer to let alone a suspect who had passed out a few yards away. “I’m just holding down the shutter as he’s coming,” recalls Cook, who was covering the festival for a class and the student newspaper. “I just never stopped taking pictures, and this cop just starts freaking out.” Cook repeatedly told Broussard she had a right to take pictures, to which a female deputy replied (in Cook’s words), “You cannot take pictures of what we do.” That officer couldn’t be more wrong. The media’s function is to act as a guardian of the public interest and as a watchdog on the activities of government. Broussard was out of line in arresting Cook and charging her with disturbing the peace by intoxication (though he did not conduct a breath test), resisting arrest (who wouldn’t under these circumstances?) and interfering with the duties of an officer (Hmmm). We won’t even go into what Broussard wrote in the arrest affidavit, because, frankly, it doesn’t jibe with the evidence — that being the images on Cook’s camera.


The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries claims a 40-year-old Rayne man used a toxic pesticide, Temik, on hot dogs and piles of peanut butter to kill raccoons that had been eating crawfish in two ponds he leases at the border of Acadia and Lafayette parishes. The problem is that Richard Doucet allegedly killed neighbors’ dogs in the process. DWF officials found the dead animals within 5 yards of where they had consumed the poison. Save the crawfish but kill the animals? Now that’s a couillon mentality. Worse yet, the poison was found within 100 yards of homes with small children. “We would be talking about a whole different story if it would have gone that route,” DWF Sgt. Chris Carpenter told The Advocate. Thankfully, the situation is now under control, with Doucet facing serious charges, including two counts of criminal negligence and five felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals.

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