Report: Black man’s killing by Louisiana police justified

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — State police have released a report saying officers in a south Louisiana city police department were justified in last year’s fatal shooting of a Black man whose death has prompted a federal lawsuit.

The 152-page report was written in December but released Wednesday — two months after a Lafayette Parish grand jury declined to indict any officers in the August shooting of Trayford Pellerin.

The report identifies the three Lafayette Police Department officers who fired at Pellerin and gives their accounts of what happened and those of other officers and witnesses, news agencies reported.

The report, which The Advertiser posted on its website, said police shot Pellerin when he tried to enter a convenience store after two ineffective attempts by law enforcement to use stun guns on him. He had threatened at least one officer with the pocket knife he was carrying and had ignored repeated demands to drop the knife, according to the report.

State Police Detective Georgiana Kibodeaux quoted all three officers who fired at Pellerin as saying they were afraid he would attack people in the store or other officers.

The officers are Sr. Cpl. Tyler S. Howerton, 34 and Officers Malik D. S. Savoy, 24, and Kevin M. McFarlain, 28.

“Ofc. McFarlain stated he could not live with himself if Pellerin would have stabbed someone in the store,” she wrote, according to The Advertiser.

Howerton, who fired three shots, had joined the force in 2009. McFarlain, a K-9 handler who joined in 2017, fired four times. Savoy in 2019, who joined in 2019, fired five shots.

“After a careful and thorough review of the evidence collected, interviews conducted, and facts learned during the investigation, I did not find probable cause to substantiate criminal charges against Sr. Cpl. Howerton, Ofc. Savoy, and Ofc. McFarlain,” Kibodeaux wrote.

State Police investigators interviewed nine Lafayette police officers and more than a half-dozen civilian witnesses, The Advocate reported. Lafayette police turned over 41 police body cameras and vehicle recorders, the report indicated.

Pellerin’s family filed a federal lawsuit last year against Lafayette police, saying their son did not have a knife when he was killed.

The lawsuit said the only knife seen in body camera footage and photographs after the shooting that was shown to them was one used to cut Pellerin’s clothing to give him first aid after he was shot. The footage also failed to show officers attempt to use other methods to stop Pellerin before shooting him, according to the suit.

When the grand jury cleared the officers, attorney Ron Haley, who is representing the family, said he would ask for a federal civil rights investigation.

He did not immediately respond Thursday to an email seeking comment about the state police report.

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Contributions buy results

life

DeRidder High graduate latest $10,000 Sunny Brown Scholarship recipient

Local News

Louisiana becomes first state to allow surgical castration as punishment for child molesters

Crime

Suspect in Benoit Motors dealership fire sought

Local News

La. faces lawsuits over mandatory display of 10 Commandments

life

PHOTO GALLERY: It’s alligator feeding time — check out this action

Local News

Finger out of joint: Damaged metal to blame for bridge shutdown

life

SW La. nightlife calendar: There’s always something to do

Crime

6/21: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

life

Vietnam service members, their families to be honored Saturday

life

Starkid Productions comedy coming to ACTS Theatre stage

life

‘Ain’t Misbehavin’: LCLT opens Fats Waller musical today at Southlake Theater

Crime

Judge: More accountability needed for juvenile offenders in SW La.

life

House of worship, closed for more than four years, set to reopen Saturday

Local News

Tropical Storm Alberto dissipates after heavy rains kill 4

Local News

Casssidy: Bill would ‘dismantle’ DEI efforts

Local News

Fontenot signs with Cowgirls

life

Free summer concert: LCCB presents’ A Night at the Movies’

Crime

LC pair sent to prison for federal firearms, drug offenses

Crime

6/20: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

life

PHOTO GALLERY: A magic moment

Crime

Two teenagers charged in robbery in which female was shot

Local News

Some memories don’t fade away: LC’s Dark recalls legendary Mays

life

LC Symphony presents ‘the best songs of the MTV generation’