An Unnecessary Arrest and the Bigoted Local Media

Political Views

Officers waste time and resources to arrest father after he and his children were struck  buy another vehicle
By Jeff Thomas
After spending six hours in the emergency room, current talk show host Oliver Thomas was arrested last week just out of sight of his kids. Thomas was traveling with his young children when his car was struck by another. Thomas also had an unpaid speeding ticket in St. Charles parish and a bench summons issued for his appearance in court in that parish. After the accident and treatment in the ER, NOPD took him into custody. Following his arrest, local media pounced like starved lions and immediately recounted old information. Nobody can make a black man look worse than the New Orleans media. Give em Peabody’s in droves. In fact, instead of what is wrong about Oliver Thomas, his arrest shows what is wrong with the NOPD and the media.

The real story is that in a city with too few officers on the street, two officers wasted six hours in the emergency room waiting to arrest a man for a traffic ticket in another jurisdiction instead of just calling the sheriff in St. Charles parish. Noooo.  They were on the case! Whenever Mr. Thomas, strapped to a gurney, was moved to take a medical test, an officer shadowed him. When Thomas moved the two officers followed.  To be fair and to give the two officers the credit they deserve, it would have been mighty embarrassing if Oliver Thomas managed to sneak off. Can you imagine how bad the police would have looked if Thomas would have been allowed to abandon his children in the emergency room and make a mad dash in a hospital gown to catch the bus, since his car was in a ditch, to go to his special hideout from the St. Charles Sheriff. 1 Adam 12 Crazed man limping with his ass out trying to evade $100 traffic fine.  Check all crime cameras for OT!

“Maybe we should invest in crime cameras on the buses and the ER?” said one of the officers.

But the strangest thing is, the officers never informed him that an arrest was pending. They just stayed in the shadows and menacingly leered and lurked.  For years, I have maintained that the problem was with upper management at the NOPD. The lie that we need more officers is goobily gook to distract from the fact that we have too many officers behind desks doing civilian jobs instead of being on the street fighting crime. Check out my article here which details the police have a manpower utilization problem. This malaise has obviously overcome the street cops. Judgement is a big part of what every officer does every second on the job. And that these officers felt the obligation to abandon their street patrol to stay in the hospital and arrest a man for an outstanding speeding ticket from another parish is a malignancy that plagues the NOPD. Simultaneously a shooting occurred a few blocks away from the accident, but we have a $100 violator in our midst.

Efficiency and management are what the NOPD needs. Not arresting a man in the ER and separating him from his children just after a traumatic auto accident for a two-year-old speeding ticket. This despicable and unnecessary act wasted precious resources. Stemming the tide of mass incarceration starts with officers on the street. At least a strong reprimand is in order or better yet these officers should be immediately suspended for their poor judgement and waste of taxpayer money. Thomas and family have taken the higher road. “We just want other families to avoid this and suggest everyone make sure they won’t be put in the same situation,” said Jasmine Thomas. “We want this to be a teachable moment for all families,” continued Mrs. Thomas.

But the negative portrayal and past shaming by local media is abhorrent and appalling. Thomas’ current story is one of resurrection and revival. The over policing of African Americans is a documented phenomenon that means too many of our men will be returning from prison. Creating pathways to successful citizenship must be a focus. Past mistakes which have been repaid by time served should be building blocks not tripping hazards. OT is now the top-rated talk show host in New Orleans in the black community. He works to stop crime by counseling people involved in disputes. He mentors our youth. He speaks across this city to help uplift the lives of all New Orleanians. He is an inspirational leader from which we can all learn and grow from his examples. He is a community leader today! But the other media only talks about past indiscretions as if they are actually meaningful other than being salacious. Shame on every TV, radio, print or digital media outlet that only brought up the past in reporting this story. Local media – You are the father! Of disgusting racial sensationalism that serves only to castigate black people!

13 thoughts on “An Unnecessary Arrest and the Bigoted Local Media

  • June 4, 2018 at 1:49 am
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    Oliver was singled out because he is famous. Were the cops white or black?

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  • June 4, 2018 at 2:38 am
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    Oh. Now I see how they got so much crime. The Police is in the hospital all day. WOW.

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  • June 4, 2018 at 3:44 pm
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    The article was telling of how a past can overshadow a bright future in the hands of the wrong people! I think the world of Oliver Thomas, he is a true success story. Simply because a winner rises up after every fall. We all fall, but unfortunately we do not all get back up and make positive moves……. Shame on the media for bringing up old trash and opening up old wounds. I pray the people viewing are smart enough to see Oliver Thomas is genuinely a good person who is continually working to BETTER himself and others! If the article is accurate, Shame Award #2 goes to NOPD for taking 2 officers off the crime-ridden streets of New Orleans to deal with a speeding ticket! NOPD you’re better than that — YOU’VE GOT TO BE!

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  • June 4, 2018 at 6:33 pm
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    This infuriates me as a white female citizen not from this state but I have lived in Louisiana most of my adult life. I am from Virginia but I have never encountered the kind of racism here that I have witnessed myself and learned about from professors at Tulane School of Social Work. It’s very sad that being black makes you a target for police to blame for crimes. You really can go to jail for being “caught being black” here and in other cities. You only need a cell phone for some police officers to feel that they have reason to shoot a young black kid….I have worked primarily in black communities and schools and for a an agency owned by a black business woman and it served mostly black families with children with mental health care needs. I did not mind being one of a few white women working for this agency….in fact I was honored to be accepted and welcomed by the agency and the families that were assigned to me. It makes me cry to hear about all the suffering that people with darker skin than me still suffer today! And I can hardly watch the news at all because it makes me cry to hear about all the shootings and violence that continues in our cities, and the refugees who are fleeing for their lives only to be turned away by this country that was started by people fleeing persecution! What is wrong with people today who care more about themselves and money than other human beings! I think of seeing Rodney King after the LA riots. He was brutalized but he cried and said on tv, “Why can’t we just all get along?” That is still true today, sadly – we have not figured out that our survival depends on caring about everyone not just a chosen few elite…which amazes me. I did not grow up spoiled or wealthy, and I have worked hard my whole life, but there was food on the table for me to eat grown up and I did not have to worry about getting shot if I walked outside at night. We have to join together as a society and stop letting bipartisan politics polarize us as if there is only one right way to exist. Everyone deserves to have food, shelter and healthcare in this country…and we all need to work together to solve our problems instead of pointing fingers and blaming one group or another. We all need to be part of the solution and stop adding to the problems with arguments and wasting time and money disputing everything and agree to work on solutions! This should be obvious to all of us!!! I will continue to do whateverI can to help work toward solutions, as we all should be doing. We have to have compassion for everyone if we want this world to get any better. My name is Ann Rhodenhiser and I don’t mind if that is shared. I stand by my convictions. I have made plenty of mistakes in my life, of course – who among us has not? But I know in my heart that the issue of unfair treatment because of the shade of a person’s skin is just wrong and has to be stopped!

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  • June 4, 2018 at 7:09 pm
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    Oliver is a target. The police just dumb!

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  • June 4, 2018 at 7:18 pm
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    This is wrong on so many levels. The cops wanna say the consent decree! LIES LIES LIES! The police is still lying even though they got doing the bidding of another parish. What a waste of money.

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  • June 5, 2018 at 12:53 am
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    The Thomas family was classy throughout the whole ordeal. I loved what Mrs. Thomas had to say! But police should not be arresting people over speeding tickets! This is why LA leads the world in incarceration. This is ridiculous! Stay strong Oliver.

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    • June 8, 2018 at 9:02 pm
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      And these are the reasons why NOPD will never be respected in this city period. Cops are worried about the wrong thing instead of fighting real crimes. A whole bunch of bullies with guns

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  • June 6, 2018 at 2:32 pm
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    The guy is a goofball. He resigned in scandal for bribery from his council position. Then doesn’t pay a ticket and let’s it go to warrant. Also doesn’t renew his license. This is not a responsible citizen. What else is he doing that he’s not getting caught for? He’s about as responsible as a stoner 18 year old. What’s he doing with 18 month old children at 62? Dump his previous hook ups and still having kids?

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    • June 11, 2018 at 5:17 pm
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      Tell Donald Trump that, since he’s 72 and Baron is, what, 10 or 11?
      And tell former Gov. Edwards that since he is even older and has young kids. What does having a young child have to do with NOPD’s stupidity?

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  • June 8, 2018 at 8:59 pm
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    It’s mighty funny how NOPD has enough time to arrest ppl for minor offenses such as dumb traffic cam tickets, expired break tags etc. but can’t arrest all the dope dealers and prostitutes who stroll down Felicity Street buying drugs two blocks from the police station uptown. This backwards ass city need to get it together…seriously because it’s obvious NOPD priorities are all screwed up. Keep your head up Mr. Thomas they need to stop targeting you.

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