Bossier GOP calls for police juror's resignation

Bossier GOP calls for police juror's resignation
Bossier Parish Police Juror Rick Avery - (R) District 6

BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - The Bossier Republican Parish Executive Committee (RPEC) is now calling on Rick Avery to resign.

Wednesday, Avery announced at a Bossier Parish Police Jury meeting that he was stepping down as Vice President. Though Avery still remains on the police jury as a representative for Bossier Parish District 6.

The recommendation from RPEC comes just days after the Bossier City Police Department released the results of an internal investigation.

Avery was arrested on suspicion of DWI on April 10, after his car was seen weaving in and out of traffic on Benton Road.

Police video tape showed Avery threatening the jobs of police officers and reportedly making a racial slur about an officer. At the time, Avery said he was working at his farm and drank a beer before heading home.

Avery was ultimately released before being booked into the Bossier City Jail, which is in violation of department policy.

Bossier City Police Chief Shane McWilliams ordered an internal investigation the following week.

According to a statement released by BCPD Monday, it was determined that officers failed to follow proper policy and procedure with regard to the incident. As a result, Police Officer Ryan Hutchings resigned, Officer Terry Yetman received a 3 day suspension and Communications Officer Tracy Cole was terminated.

Wednesday, Bossier RPEC sent the following:

"The Bossier Republican Parish Executive Committee is deeply saddened by recent events involving Bossier Parish Police Jury member Rick Avery. Mr. Avery's actions and language on the night of April 10 were inexcusable and unbecoming of an elected official. His actions have created a blemish on law enforcement, who tirelessly work to build a good rapport, and reputation with the public, meanwhile also placing the public in danger. To date, he has offered an apology to the Police Jury, but failed to mention the citizens who were endangered by his actions or the officers he attempted to intimidate. The Bossier RPEC has waited for Mr. Avery to do the right thing, and when that action did not occur we privately asked Mr. Avery to do the right thing - but he has failed to do so. Therefore, it is our firm belief that the authority of elected office rests solely upon the foundation of the public's trust, and that Mr. Avery has not only violated that trust but has cast a shadow upon Bossier Parish government as a whole. Accordingly, we call upon Rick Avery to resign his seat on the Bossier Parish Police Jury."

Mike Collier with RPEC told KSLA News 12 that he met with Avery on Tuesday, May 17 and asked him to resign. According to Collier, Avery said "I'll take it under consideration."

Collier explained that the executive committee had been discussing the issue over the past couple of weeks and recently took a straw poll and voted 14-0 in favor of asking Avery to resign.

The way to get an "undesirable" out of office is to vote them out, said Collier. But, Avery isn't up for re-election for 3 and a half more years which is why Collier says the committee is pushing for his resignation.

Avery formally apologized to the Police Jury on May 6 for his actions. He said the combination of alcohol and a medication he was taking caused him to act irrationally.

"In my defense," said Avery, "I met with my physician last week and he watched the video. He called the result of what happened a blackout. Because one minute I was patting people on the back and ten seconds later, I was cussing them out...calling them these horrible names."

Avery said he accepts full responsibility for his actions.

According to a Bossier City Police Department spokesman, charges were not filed against Avery because "the necessary evidence to warrant and support charges was not obtained by officers."

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