LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Public outcry and protest over the officer-involved-shooting death of Trayford Pellerin spilled out of the streets and into the council meetings at Lafayette Consolidated Government headquarters Tuesday night.
Protestors and activists have been asking for a dialogue with Mayor-President in the days following the officer-involved shooting, and during the council meeting they at least made him listen, but he gave no response.
The chants bounced off the walls during the Lafayette Parish Council’s public comment. “Say his name. Trayford Pellerin. Say his name. Trayford Pellerin. Say his name.”
Trayford Pellerin is the reason speaker after speaker came out to the Lafayette Consolidated Government meeting.
The 31-year-old died at the hands of lafayette police while they responded to a disturbance.
Lafayette’s Mayor-President issued a statement the day after the August 21 shooting saying in part:
“An armed individual was shot and killed by Lafayette police officers after an extended pursuit, numerous efforts to de-escalate the situation, and multiple tries to subdue the knife-wielding suspect through the use of tasers…The officers opened fire when it became apparent the armed individual was attempting to enter a convenience store, threatening the lives of the customers and workers inside.”
WARNING: Video is explicit.
Those answers are not good enough for Morgan Prejean who participated in the numerous protests since.
“It should have been de-escalated,” Prejean argued. “You mean to tell me all those cops between one person with a knife couldn’t disarm him? That’s embarrassing.”
People and Parish Council District 5 Representative AB Rubin asked for the police to have de-escalation training and mental health training twice a year as well as psych evaluations.
“I would like Trayford’s name to be remembered as a name that caused change in our community,” Rubin said breaking down in sadness. He expressed he is a friend of the Pellerin family.
Two speakers crossed the line and were escorted out of the building for vulgar statements.
Trayford’s cousin, a veteran, said there’s still no justice, and his family has yet to see the body.
“Maybe I’m missing something because this isn’t what I signed up for,” expressed Jai Pellerin. “This isn’t what I signed up to protect this country for.”
Protestors said they will use their first, second, and every other amendment rights to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The statement was proved by the armed presence outside.
Lafayette NAACP Young Adult Committee Chairperson Devon Norman said after repeated attacks on his community, the damage might be repairable.
He said, “You made a mockery and a foolery of the people of Lafayette, and we’re sick and tired of it. Now if you expect nice kumbayah to come from us, it’s never going to happen again.”
There were also people petitioning the Mayor-President Josh Guillory be removed from office as well as Interim Police Chief Scott Morgan.
Before public comment criticized the government, Guillory did offer a moment of silence for the Pellerin family before public comment.
He also said he reached out to Louisiana State Police with public concerns and requested a quick and thorough investigation.
Guillory did not respond after any of the public comment.
You can watch the full council meeting here.