Lafayette police officer fired after punching handcuffed man will have appeal heard
The Lafayette Police and Fire Civil Service Board heard concerns from the local NAACP before agreeing to hear an appeal from an officer who was fired for punching a handcuffed man.
In a largely procedural move, the board voted unanimously Wednesday to hear arguments from former Lafayette Police Officer Pablo Estrada and his attorney about why the discipline was "without cause and in bad faith." Estrada is appealing in order to be reinstated onto the police force.
Board member Police Sgt. Paul Mouton said during the meeting that most appeals are accepted unless there is a technicality, such as filing the request too late. A hearing date for Estrada's appeal has not yet been scheduled.
Estrada was fired by Police Chief Thomas Glover Sr. after he pushed and punched a handcuffed man in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center's processing room. The incident was captured on video at the jail. Under Civil Service protections, police officers can appeal their discipline to the board.
'It was messed up':Man describes use-of-force incident with fired Lafayette officer
Michael Toussaint, vice president of the Lafayette chapter of the NAACP, spoke on behalf of the civil-rights organization, expressing concerns about reinstating Estrada.
"It’s an issue of unjustified brutality for the individual that was detained," Toussaint said. "We don’t want that type of individual on our police force. We definitely don’t want him policing the citizens of Lafayette."
Toussaint said the NAACP supports Glover's decision to fire Estrada.
"He’s definitely taking a fierce hand in making sure the department doesn’t have this type of climate within his department," he said of the police chief. "We stand firmly behind him in the termination in this police officer and any other police officer that might show this type of behavior."
The board also accepted the appeal of a 20-day suspension of Officer Jacob Desormeaux. No details about what led to his discipline were discussed and a hearing date has not yet been decided.