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Where is the North Louisiana representation on that House ‘bipartisan’ committee investigating Greene beating death?


Where is the North Louisiana representation on that House ‘bipartisan’ committee investigating Greene beating death?

When House Speaker Clay Schexnayder (R-Gonzales) decided to put Gov. John Bel Edwards in his crosshairs over the Ronald Greene beating death, he made sure to pack his House committee with familiar faces of South Louisiana members.

To tell the truth, that little move was overlooked by me but not by a sharp-eyed LouisianaVoice reader who was quick to question the makeup of the so-called bipartisan committee formed to study Greene’s death at the hands of five state troopers on May 10, 2019.

I say “so-called bipartisan” because while Schexnayder was careful to make certain that four of the eight-member committee were Democrats, he snubbed legislators from North Louisiana, particularly Northeast Louisiana, where Greene was from and where he died.

Schexnayder’s appointment of four Democrats notwithstanding, this alleged “investigation” is a thinly-disguised hatchet job intended to take down Edwards. Not that he needs and help – Edwards has contributed significantly to his own political demise by keeping quiet so long when he knew damned well Greene died during a struggle with cops but still stuck to the lie that he died from a car crash that was the culmination of a two-parish police chase.

But to ignore North Louisiana House members when appointing the committee was not only ill-advised, but politically not smart. A politician worth his salt would never commit such a blunder. A man died at the hands of Troop F state troopers run amok – where driving while black is apparently a criminal offense. It would seem that legislators from that area would have a stake in any investigation into events occurring in that region.

The chase originated in Ouachita Parish and ended in Union Parish. They are both decidedly North Louisiana parishes: Union borders Arkansas and Ouachita is just one parish removed from the Arkansas border. You don’t get any more “North Louisiana” than that.

Yet, one must look all the way to East Baton Rouge and West Baton Rouge parishes to find the northernmost member of the committee. That’s roughly 200 miles south of where Greene died.

The membership is chaired by Speaker Pro Tem Tanner Magee (R-Houma). Other members include Reps. Richard Nelson (R-Mandeville), C. Denise Marcelle (D-Baton Rouge), Richard Nelson (R-Mandeville), Tony Barcala (R-Prairieville), Jason Hugues (D-New Orleans), Edmond Jordan (D-Brusly), Mandie Landry (D-New Orleans), and Debbie Villio (R-Kenner).

Overlooked were Ouachita Parish Reps. Mike Echols (R-Monroe), Adrian Fisher (D-Monroe), Foy Bryan Gadberry (R-West Monroe), and Pat Moore (D-Monroe), Jack McFarland (R-Jonesboro), Christopher Turner (R-Ruston), and Francis Thompson (D-Delhi).

There are others from Minden, Alexandria, East Pineville, Shreveport, and Vidalia, but those in the preceding paragraph should have been represented because Greene either lived or died in their districts. Yet, not a single one was designated to serve on the committee.

That’s an oversight that cannot be ignored or excused.

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