22 September 2007

"I wish we had a charge in Louisiana for aggravated ignorance"

This story was briefly reported in the Shreveport Times today:
"And Thursday night, police in nearby Alexandria arrested two people after they stopped a red pickup that was traveling through the city with nooses hanging from it.

'I wish we had a charge in Louisiana for aggravated ignorance, because this is a classic case,' Alexandria police Sgt. Clifford Gatlin said of the incident in his city the same day rallies in support of the Jena Six — the name given to six black teenagers charged in a December incident that left a white teen unconscious and bleeding — were held in Jena. Some supporters used Alexandria as a staging area for the march on Jena."


Robin Edgar said...

We could use a charge for aggravated ignorance up here in Montreal, to say nothing of elsewhere in the U*U World. . .

Chalicechick said...


No, we should not be charging people for what they believe, even if what they believe is different from what we believe.

If these people and their nooses actually broke the law, nobody is more delighted than me, however.


Steve Caldwell said...


Actually, they didn't arrest the folks for hanging the nooses -- they exhibited their stupidity in other ways according the Shreveport Times article:

"Nooses also were at the center of the arrests Thursday night in Alexandria.

One of the suspects in that case is a juvenile who told police that he and some of his relatives are members of the Ku Klux Klan and that he has a "KKK" tattoo on his chest, according to Alexandria police.

Jeremiah Munsen, 18, of Colfax, who was driving the truck, was charged with one count each of driving while intoxicated, inciting to riot and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, according to the police report.

The passenger, a 16-year-old from Dry Prong who has a prior conviction of burglary, was charged with underage drinking and probation violation, Alexandria Police Chief Daren Coutee said. The juvenile also might be charged with committing criminal mischief, the police chief said.

"This might go a lot further than anticipated. We are looking into the juvenile."

The truck was stopped by police after complaints from a group of Jena Six protesters from Tennessee who saw the vehicle displaying the nooses as they were waiting to board a charter bus to leave Alexandria about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, police said.

The juvenile told police he had fashioned the two nooses, made from extension cords, that were hanging from the truck's bed rail.

An unloaded .22-caliber rifle, belonging to Munsen, was found wrapped in a blanket behind the seat in the truck, police reported. Also found in the truck were a set of brass knuckles, which the juvenile told police belonged to him, and beer, the report states.

When an officer asked if he could search the truck, Munsen said, "Go ahead, knock yourself out," according to the police report."

So ... folks who are stupid enough to drive around town with nooses hanging from the back their truck are probably stupid enough to break other laws like DUI and underage drinking.

The Alexandria mayor's response was excellent:

"Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy said he was home in his pajamas and rushed to the bus station without changing his clothes when he received a telephone call about the incident.

Roy said he felt it was important to engage the crowd so the visitors wouldn't leave with a bad impression of Alexandria after a day of peaceful protests.

'They left here with the best sense of our community and were happy to know that it wasn't an Alexandria citizen (who hung the nooses). I think they felt really good about our city at the end of the day. That was our mission, and I think we succeeded.'"

Hanging nooses on your car in this town would be the same as intentionally driving around with a busted headlight. You're just asking to be pulled over and investigated.