Local woman complains about a city marshals comment in court - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Local woman complains about a city marshals comment in court

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

What was supposed to be an ordinary day at Lake Charles city court last month, is now the subject of controversy.

Monday, January 8, was a day one local woman, who wants her identity concealed, will never forget.

We'll call her Susan.

Susan said what was suppose to be a routine day at traffic court took a turn for the worst.

"Everybody got in and was waiting for the judge," Susan said. "And one of the older marshals who happened to be Caucasian said y'all can either sit here or we can bring y'all out back and lynch y'all or put a bullet in your head that'd be easier."

Susan said the marshal made those shocking comments after someone in the courtroom noted the judge was running a few minutes late.
She said after hearing the marshal's comments, several people walked out the courtroom.

"And I said, that was racially incentive that's why they left," Susan said. "And he said oh I was just trying to make a joke, saying we could go back to those times." 

"He said I was trying to make the point that we could go back to the old days and it could be way worse than what it is now, y'all are just waiting a little while for the judge."

Susan said joke or not, this isn't something that should be said in 2018.

"It was unacceptable 100 years ago and it's unacceptable today," Susan said. "You don't make jokes about lynching and putting bullets in peoples heads in traffic court."

Susan said she did contact the city court to complain and was told to write a letter.

We reached out to the marshal's office, who said they were initially unaware of the incident but did investigate.

Chief Deputy Karl Gillard said the volunteer marshal in court that day admits to saying much of what Susan reported, but denies talk of lynchings.

He claims it was meant as a joke.

Chief Deputy Gillard said that marshal has been reprimanded, and will no longer make opening remarks in the courtroom.

Susan said if she had the chance to confront that marshal today, she'd tell him to keep an open mind. 

"Realize this is 2018 and blacks and whites are equal," Susan said. "Understand that person hurts just like you do, they cry just like you, they laugh just like you do. All they want to do is go to work and home just like you do."

We did reach out to the volunteer deputy marshal for a comment, but he declined to be interviewed.

Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved

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