Chief Jackson comments on 'Chasing the Chief' scandal

Charlotte Guedry

Earlier this afternoon, WAFB Channel 9 presented a brief investigative report regarding Gonzales Chief of Police Sherman Jackson.

The report stated that Chief Jackson was involved in a traffic incident within the city limits of Gonzales in November of 2011.

It was reported that he, along with six fellow off-duty officers, had disobeyed traffice laws and were chased by officers with the Gonzales Police Department.

Chief Sherman Jackson has gone on record with the Gonzales Weekly Citizen with his version of the night's event.

"On November 18, myself and six fellow officers drove to a Baton Rouge restaurant to have dinner with a fellow officer who was changing shifts. It was to be a farewell of sorts to our previous working relationship."

On the way back into Gonzales, travelling east along Hwy. 30, the group, all in one vehicle, approached the intersection with Hwy. 44. The light was red, so the driver, Officer Kenny Stell, brought the vehicle to a stop.

"While we were parked, a joke was made from one of the officers with us for Kenny to run the red light. He refused."

When the light turned green, the group turned left onto Hwy. 44 to head into the center of the city.

"Seconds later, blue lights appeared behind us. I thought someone was messing around as the comment had been made for Kenny to run the light. Even though he hadn't, I still thought someone was messing with us and that's why the lights appeared. One of the guys in the car noticed that the officer with his lights on was Brent Amy. We noticed one of the guys in the car with us was texting, so we assumed he was texting Amy and was in on the prank."

The officer texting was asked about it, but he denied he was texting Amy.

"At this point, a second unit arrived, as we had not pulled over."

The second unit was driven by Officer Walter Taylor, who knew of the group's plans for the dinner.

"This only convinced us further that the officers were joking around with us."

The group, who still had not pulled over, turned right on to Worthey Road, where the Chief of Police then became aware that a prank was not being pulled.

"I saw a lot of blue lights up ahead. It was at this time that the reality of the situation became clear."

Chief Jackson at this time informed a fellow passenger to contact Officer Amy and explain who they were. He did not want a felony stop to be conducted, and was adamant that Officer Amy be made aware the group posed no threat.

The call was put through to Amy, lights were deactivated, and the group made their way directly to the Gonzales Police Department building.

"We honestly thought it was a joke, We were clocked at going 65mph in a 45mph speed zone, but had no idea we'd been speeding. In hindsight, do I wish this had been handled differently? Of course I do. It's no excuse, but we thought people were simply having fun at our expense. I am pleased to know, however, that my officers stepped up and were 100% ready when they believed us to be a threat. Also, at no time was there a chase of such magnitude to where anyone's lives were in danger. I regret this incident, and am ashamed that I have somehow embarrassed my department. I only hope that we can all now simply continue to make the safety of Gonzales our top priority. This issue has been blown out of proportion, simply to embarrass me or the men and women that work with me. I don't' know why, but I do feel it is unneccessary."