HOW MAYOR PERKINS’ PROCESS FOR NEW POLICE CHIEF FELL APART
Tuesday, September 17, 2019 … 8:00 P.M.
After spending the better part of the day on the phone and juggling emails, it is clear that Mayor Adrian Perkins has lost control of his own process to select a new Police Chief.
As anyone who cares already knows, the advisory committee at the heart of that process failed to include among the three finalists the most qualified candidate, Acting Police Chief Ben Raymond.
For those keeping score at home, Raymond (a) had the highest score on the required Civil Service exam, (b) is busily running around town selling the Mayor’s (over-the-top) bond issue set for a November 16th vote, and (c) is both white AND popular among many white and black residents.
When the word leaked out yesterday that Raymond had been shut out, his strongest supporter, Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator – a member of the advisory committee – quickly and personally lobbied Mayor Perkins to consider him, regardless.
‘Just so happens that Sheriff Prator’s strongest political opponent, District Attorney James Stewart, is also on that committee and is not supporting Raymond. Several with whom I spoke today, in fact, believe Stewart is the direct opponent to Raymond as permanent Chief.
Yes, Raymond and Prator are white and Perkins and Stewart are black, but race does not solely determine or explain this.
Many do not understand that the Prator vs. Stewart battle was the same when the late Charles Scott, who was white, was Caddo District Attorney. Yes, Scott was a Democrat and Stewart is a Democrat and Prator is Republican, but that only goes so far as an explanation, too.
For years, anyone who has cared to ask him will hear Sheriff Prator quickly point out precisely the same thing that the Baton Rouge Advocate pointed out in a feature article on Sunday.
As The Advocate focused on incarceration rates among large parishes, it confirmed that Caddo Parish has the highest such rate in the state … much higher than the national average.
Paying the tab for our very high number of jailed Caddoans is Sheriff Prator’s Caddo Correctional Center budget … he houses our jailed inmates … at huge expense.
The official who might choose to speed-up the prosecutions which would, in turn, drive that very costly process down, is District Attorney James Stewart.
(Here is that article link: http://advocate.la.newsmemory.com/?publink=06c780528)
That argument made, there remains a very strong suspicion that our D.A. and our mayor intend to shape this process to yield a race-specific choice … and by doing so prevent Shreveport having the best qualified Chief of Police.
Once George Soros pumped $935,000 into the D.A.’s 2015 election campaign, and once Mayor Perkins was “brought here” to be mayor by a mix of national and local Democratic Party players, that case is far too easy to make, and no one is even trying to refute it.
If, therefore, Ben Raymond is not the permanent Chief when this smoke clears, Shreveport’s white residents who are not Democrats will likely react much more negatively than Mayor Perkins’ handlers imagine … far beyond the outcome of a bond issue vote.
The good news, my work today confirms, is that the City Council must have four members / votes to stomp-out this fire not of their making.
Right now, with six days to go before the subject City Council meeting, there are (at least) four votes for Ben Raymond – regardless that he is not a “finalist” – but no more than three votes for any other finalist.
© 2019 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED