Controversial video surfaces after Ville Platte High School homecoming
Ville Platte High’s homecoming was marred with controversy Friday night when a local video went viral on Facebook. The video depicted two police officers walking away from a crowd of people chanting “F*** the police!” The words are from a rap song from the 1988 album “Straight Outta Compton” by the group N.W.A.
The song was written and recorded in response to the stereotypical racial profiling and police brutality seen in Compton, Calif., in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, which culminated with the Rodney King assault by police and the subsequent L.A. Riots. Since then, the chanting of “F*** the police!” has been used by groups of people who feel harassed by police presence.
Friday night, large crowds gathered in Ville Platte for at least two block parties to celebrate Ville Platte High’s homecoming. The person who posted the video on Facebook alleged “the cop wanted to mace the people for having fun.”
Ville Platte Chief of Police Neil Lartigue said it was not true that an officer was going to mace anyone, and he was not aware of any conflict. He said, “There was a black officer who was there, and he did not feel threatened. No one made any direct threats towards him. He just continued doing his job. It was just a song that came on, and people were on a float having fun.” He said it happened after the homecoming parade, on either Court Street or Harvey LeBas Street. There were block parties going on that night. “Nobody felt threatened. There was no aggression towards the police,” said Lartigue. He also said he found out about the video because some officers were laughing about it Monday morning.
When asked if he finds race relations are difficult between the police and the citizens of Ville Platte, Lartigue said, “No. There’s going to always be some issues, but as far as overall, no. There is no problem with race issues with the officers and the public.” When asked if some of the African American community is complaining about the police department, he said, “No. I have no complaints. There is a channel to file formal complaints. I have none that have been filed.”
The Ville Platte Gazette reached out to the original poster of the Facebook video for comments about his “mace” allegations but have not heard back from him.