Nelson family attorney wants justice

Published 10:48 am Friday, February 10, 2023

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Prominent Civil Rights Attorney Carol Powell Lexing, who is the family attorney for the Eric Nelson family, said the Eric Nelson case is alleging a coverup.

“We believe it was a coverup mainly because the police officers did not have their body cams on. When they were chasing Mr. Nelson through the woods, their body cams were off,” Lexing said. “They did not tell the truth about his injuries to the emergency people. They lied about that. They didn’t tell what happened and how it happened. Their narrative about what happened is fabricated. Their narrative about what happened is a lie. They tased him, beat him and dragged him out of that creek. One lie is that they left off their body cams, which is a red herring in itself. Their body cams being off showed they weren’t being transparent. They’re not transparent in what they do. Why have body cams and not turn them on especially in a situation like that. With all the cases you see on TV, you should have your body cams on. In cases like this, it would serve the police’s interest to have the body cams on to protect themselves. They had them off because they didn’t want people to see what they did to Eric Nelson. The family wants transparency, they want accountability and they want justice for the death of Eric Nelson.”

Lexing said they want to bring justice and hold the police officers accountable.

“This is about exposing wrong and trying to rectify wrong to make it right based on transparency and accountability,” Lexing said.

Lexing said they are talking about the criminal justice part of arresting and holding police officers accountable.

“Arresting them, charging them, having a trial and letting the system work. That’s what we’re talking about,” Lexing said.

In Dec. of 2021, Nelson died while in Bogalusa police custody.

According to a press release from the 22nd JDC District Attorney Warren Montgomery on Jan. 20 no charges would be filed at this time in the death of Nelson.

“Because of the circumstances of his death, I conducted a thorough review of the facts surrounding his arrest,” Montgomery said. “I reviewed a special death investigation report by the Louisiana State Police.

“I then reviewed the hospital records, autopsy report, videos and other materials regarding his death. I then engaged the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s office to review the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s autopsy report. Finally, I presented the case to a Washington Parish Grand Jury on January 17, 2023. I reviewed every relative criminal charge to this case and determined that the evidence does not meet the standard needed for criminal prosecution. Based on all the information known to me involving the death of Eric Nelson while in police custody, no criminal charges will be brought at this time against law enforcement personnel involved in the incident on December 19, 2021.”

The release continued with, “My decision is based on the presently available information and I remain open to review any additional new information presented to me. My decision is independent of any current or future administrative actions by law enforcement or civil litigation,” Montgomery said.