PORT ALLEN, La. (BRPROUD)– Four West Baton Rouge Parish deputies involved in the 2019 shooting death of Josef Richardson are cleared of wrongdoing according to Spokesperson Major. Zach Simmers.
The internal investigation echoes previous findings by the Louisiana State Police and the Louisiana Department of Justice.
Simmers confirms both investigations concluded Richardson ignored verbal commands, resisted non-lethal force, had a reputation of resisting arrest and was possibly under the influence of drugs.
Simmers confirmed Deputy Vance Matranga, The Deputy who killed Richardson is back to patrolling the streets.
“Josef Richardson was the victim, he was shot in the back of the head and he was not armed with a weapon,” Richardson Family Attorney Ronald Haley said.
The West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office released the following statement:
“Louisiana State Police investigated the criminal case. Once they completed their investigation the Sheriff’s Office conducted an internal investigation. As a result of that investigation it was found that no policies or procedures were broken.”
“The public shouldn’t accept that, that’s why we need an independent body, an independent board to investigate these matters,” Haley said.
Neither Richardson’s family nor their attorney found the news surprising because of what they say has been a lack of transparency.
“It seems to be very surfaced on them, but we want to dig in the depths of the earth on the victim and this is victim shaming 101 at it’s best so am I surprised they came up with this? No. they are investigating their own family,” Haley said. “We need to look just as hard into these officers.”
The Richardson family spokesman the following statement:
This news did not come as a shocker to our family, because sadly we’ve seen this time and time again across the United States. As with any arrest the officers will say that the suspect was resisting arrest to benefit their claims. What we are more concerned about is the lack of care in this investigation. The report was released to the public using another man’s picture, date of birth, and using the wrong name. This shows it was thrown together without the proper people checking over it. It was rushed and pushed out with errors that shouldn’t have been there. The department needs to be looked at further to find out how often things like this happen and why aren’t they being more careful with their reporting. We definitely look forward to our date in court.
The family is suing Vance Matranga, Brett Cavaliere, Sheriff Mike Cazes and the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Department in a wrongful death suit.