BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — On Wednesday, the East Baton Rouge Metro Council unanimously passed Devin’s Law, a new ordinance that aims to make rental properties safer after the tragic death of Devin Page Jr.
In April, Tye Toliver lost her 3-year-old, Devin Page Jr., after he was shot by a stray bullet while sleeping in bed. She then promised herself her baby boy’s name will not be left in vain. Now, that promise has been fulfilled.
“I’m very grateful, overall,” said Toliver.
Before his death, Toliver said she asked her landlord repeatedly for more safety measures.
“I called management again and told them I need to break the lease because someone is going to get killed,” she said.
Devin’s Law now encourages landlords to put in security cameras. The law requires proper safety lighting on rental properties. Councilman Cleve Dunn, Jr., who created the ordinance, says state law tied his hands and prevented cameras to be required. It also prevented Devin’s Law from allowing tenants to break a lease based on criminal activity. Despite this, the family says they are happy.
“Of course, I didn’t like it, but we will take what they have given us. Simply because like said when you say Devin’s Law. Everyone is going to know you are talking about Devin Page Jr.,” said Kathy Toliver, Devin’s grandmother.
“We didn’t want to do nothing, we wanted to bring forth something as a start,” said Councilman Dunn.
The law states anyone person who violates Devin’s Law can face up to a $500 fine.
After emotional testimony from family and residents, the council recognized Devin’s precious life with a moment of silence. As for Devin’s family, this is just the first step in seeking justice.
Councilman Dunn and Devin’s family plan to take Devin’s Law to the state level.
“It was too late for me, but it won’t be for somebody else,” said Devin’s mother.
The law will take effect in January 2023.