DeSoto Parish School Board Member Arrested - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports


DeSoto Parish School Board Member Arrested

A man who made news for being elected one of the youngest school board members in DeSoto parish, is back in the news.  This time it's for his arrest.
Mansfield board member Bartholomew Claiborne is accused of leaving the scene of an accident, improper lane usage, and driving under suspension.  Police say he hasn't had a valid driver's license since 2004, because he failed to pay a speeding ticket in Livonia Parish.
The 25-year-old first term board member claims his arrest Tuesday was racially motivated.  Mansfield police say he broke the law, and has been for the last two years.
"I did absolutely nothing wrong. This is one hundred percent racial profiling," says Claiborne, who believes the Mansfield police department is trying to railroad his reputation.
"Ever since I have won the election, I have felt like a hawk was over me, and I'm trying to bring positive things to this community.  But it's things like this which really deter, and most importantly bring the downfall, and don't want individuals to go forward."
Claiborne says he hit the woman's car in front of Mansfield City Hall, Monday morning around 9 o'clock.
Claiborne was headed to a dentist appointment.  The young woman he hit was headed to class, and called police.  Mansfield Police Sargeant Rodney Christien responded to the scene. 
"I asked her where he was and she said, 'Well, he handed me his business card and said one of his relatives owned a body shop and that he would take care of the damage and that he was on his way to a dentist appointment in Shreveport, that he didn't have time to wait,'" says Sgt. Rodney Christien.
Sgt. Christien says he then called Claiborne and told him to bring his insurance card, license, and proof of registration to the police department by 3:00 PM, Monday.  He never showed up.
"I bent over backwards to give him an opportunity to do what he should have done in the first place, and he failed to do so," says Sgt. Christien.
"They want me to be whom they want me to be, and I'm only going to be what Bartholomew Claiborne is, and that is a role model for this community," says Claiborne.
Mansfield police say they don't want Claiborne to be anything but a law abiding citizen.
Claiborne says his mother brought the paperwork and it's all a misunderstanding.
The police say, it was his wreck, not the mother's.
Story by David Begnaud

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