Less than four months after Louisiana gave cops hate crime victim status with the nation’s first Blue Live Matters bill, New Orleans police made what appears to be the state’s first arrest under that law Monday.
A drunk man who yelled racist and sexist slurs at officers after they arrested him for disorderly conduct and damaging property in the French Quarter
New Orleans police say Raul Delatoba called a black cop a “dumb ass nigger” and a female cop a “dumb ass cunt,” which in their eyes, is a hate crime – punishable by an extra five years in prison.
That is, if New Orleans police are able to make the charge stick against the homeless man.
According to NOLO:
Raul Delatoba, 28, was booked Monday (Sept. 5) on charges of simple criminal damage to property, disturbing the peace and a felony-level hate crime, his arrest warrant says. During his arrest, but after he had broken the window, Delatoba is accused of using sexist and racial slurs against police officers, the document shows.
The regional director of the Anti-defamation League, an organization that trains law enforcement agencies to enforce hate crimes, said she does not believe a hate crime occurred in this incident, based on the circumstances described in Delatoba’s warrant.
Allison Padilla-Goodman, the group’s director, said she believes Delatoba is possibly the first person charged with a hate crime under the “blue lives matter” provision the Legislature recently added to the state’s hate crime law. The provision adds law enforcement occupation to the list of targeted victims for which a hate crime applies.
According to arrest documents, Delatoba was drunk and banging on a window at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, 300 Bourbon St. around 5:15 a.m. Monday, when a witness who heard the banging told him to stop. Delatoba’s warrant says he yelled at the witness, “calling him a n—–.”
That witness, a security guard who works at a nearby building’s mezzanine, along with a security supervisor for the Royal Sonesta, flagged down two Louisiana State Troopers who then escorted Delatoba to NOPD’s 8th District station, the warrant states. Once at the station, the warrant states, Delatoba began to verbally “attack members of the New Orleans Police Dept.” The warrant states Delatoba called one female officer a “dumb a– c—” and another officer a “dumb a– n—–.”
As explained by the regional director of the Anti-defamation League in the above excerpt, it takes a little more than just hurling racist and sexist epithets while drunk and angry to make it a hate crime.
But is anybody surprised they would waste no time in abusing this law?
UPDATE: The New Orleans Police Department issued a statement late Thursday that they had misapplied the law in this man’s arrest.
“After reviewing the initial facts of the case, it is clear that the responding officer incorrectly applied the law relative to a hate crime in this incident.”