Black Lives Matter march is set for tonight in Ville Platte from Media Center to rally at courthouse
By: TONY MARKS
A march and rally is set for tonight in Ville Platte and is being organized by Gabrielle Robertson, who is asking for an end to police brutality and the silence from the white community.
Robertson alleged her brother, Keenan Ardoin, was murdered by Ville Platte police six years ago. Robertson said she wants everyone to come together to help end racial injustice she believes is still persistent in the community.
“I just want to welcome all colors and races, for us all to be as one, against white silence and police brutality,” she said.
Ardoin, Robertson’s brother, died while in the custody of the Ville Platte Police Department on Oak Street. Police were called to the scene shortly before 1 a.m. on the morning of Wednesday, December 3, 2014, as a result of an alleged domestic altercation.
According to an article in the Ville Platte Gazette on Sunday, December 7, 2014, “Police reported they found Keenan Ardoin, 24, and his girlfriend, Sheene Williams, who told police she ran into the back yard after Ardoin began arguing, then punched a window, injuring his arm or hand.”
The Gazette article continued as follows, “She said Ardoin ‘chased me down’ in the back yard and was biting her. At that point, Williams screamed, and a neighbor who heard Williams’ screams called police and reported Williams’ and Ardoin’s son was trying to separate Ardoin from the boy’s mother. Police arrived and pepper sprayed Williams and Ardoin, according to news reports.”
“According to the State Police, four Ville Platte police officers struggled with Ardoin in the dirt up to 10 minutes until they could handcuff him. Williams said police held Ardoin’s face ‘in the dirt.’ According to news reports, officers said they called an ambulance when they noticed the cut on Ardoin’s arm. Soon after that, police said, Ardoin was not responsive. News reports differ as to whether Ardoin died at the scene of the altercation, in an ambulance, or in the hospital.”
“Ardoin’s mother, Alanda Wyatt, who lives near Williams, said her son was taking cocaine and formaldehyde, used by funeral homes to preserve bodies but also abused for its intoxicating effects.”
“Wyatt told TV news crews she believed the action taken by police contributed to the incident. ‘I want to have some answers,’ she said. Ardoin’s body is being examined by a coroner in Calcasieu Parish, according to the State Police.”
No Justice No Peace: Black Lives Matter will be a peaceful candlelight march and rally from the Media Center behind Ville Platte High to the Courthouse, tonight from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. According to the event flyer, the march and rally are in honor of “Keenan Ardoin, Juan Guillory, George Floyd, Breanna Taylor, Ahmad Aubrey, and all those black lives lost at the hands of law enforcement.”