Tuesday, August 03, 2021
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A Statement from Sheriff Gusman

NEW ORLEANS - 06-12-2020

To: All Deputies, Staff, and Contractors

Demonstrations and protests against the unequal treatment of Black Americans continue as our city, country, and the world respond to the mistreatment and killing of Black Americans in police custody, in particular the horrific death of George Floyd at the hands of a former Minneapolis police officer who has been charged with murder. All of us at the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office must remember and honor our oath to protect and defend the rights and privileges of all of the citizens we serve regardless of the color of their skin.

The Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office is committed to the equal protection of individual rights and freedoms. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Over 87% of our staff are Black Americans, so this is an issue that we have confronted as adolescents, as teenagers, as young men and women, as members of law enforcement, and as parents. It is critically important that we accept our personal responsibility to prevent injustice and protect those who are defenseless to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect.

We are on the frontline of combating the institutional racism that spawned the inequities that are present in the American justice system. Each and every day we must commit ourselves to be a part of the solution and support the rights of those in our community and those in our care and custody especially those exercising their First Amendment right to "peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

The Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office is committed to addressing injustice through initiatives such as The Travis Hill School, hiring more social workers and mental health counselors, improving access to voting rights for ex-offenders, reducing recidivism through re-entry and discharge planning, expanding the transitional work program, and instituting modern correctional practices such as direct supervision in our facilities.

Let us all unite and commit our resolve to ensuring that the rights of all citizens of the United States of America are protected equally so we may all realize and enjoy those inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman

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