FBI statement adds to Becker arrest

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, September 23, 2015

It wasn’t much of a statement, but it did keep the sad episode in the news.

Craig Betbeze, public affairs specialist with the FBI New Orleans Division, released the following update to L’OBSERVATEUR and other news agencies.

“The FBI New Orleans Division can confirm that an investigation was conducted involving Brady Becker’s civil rights allegations against a (Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office) Deputy,” Betbeze said. “Insufficient evidence was developed to support a federal prosecution.”

Most in our community know some of the details, which involves two completely different stories following the violent arrest of Brady Becker, a Reserve high school student apprehended by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Feb. 13 and charged with inciting a riot, resisting an officer, battery of a police officer and underage possession of alcohol.

The arrest took place in Metairie during festivities surrounding a Mardi Gras parade, sparking a media firestorm because of a graphic 37-second YouTube upload that depicted Becker receiving numerous punches to the face from arresting officer Nicholas Breaux.

The latest news, made public last week, seems to back law enforcement’s version of the arrest as a justified use of force.

Still, it was Becker who held a press conference less than a week after his arrest in which he said he was still in pain, worried and emotionally detached from everything.

His attorney, David Belfield III, filed complaints with the Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Becker’s camp has also filed a civil suit, one Belfield said recently is still being confidently pursued.

However, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand was emphatic earlier this year defending the arrest, calling his own press conference to support his officers’ actions.

This whole story was ugly from the beginning, and we’re not finished yet.