Calcasieu DA responds to billboards
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – “It is what it is.” Those five words are now plastered on billboards along with Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier’s face around the Lake Area.
It all has to do with DeRosier’s controversial comment during a hearing at the legislature on ending 10-2 jury verdicts.
You’ll see plenty of billboards scattered across Lake Charles, but there’s one that seems to stick out.
It shows Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier along with the phrase “it is what it is.”
That comment goes back to late April when DeRosier spoke at House Committee meeting about a bill that would get rid of the state’s 10-2 jury verdicts for felony cases meaning all jurors must agree on a verdict.
In that meeting when lawmakers brought up the racial origins of the current 10-2 verdict rule DeRosier said that comment.
It upset many and now, billboards are up.
“We are trying to build a beacon on the hill, and to see somebody come in from the outside and try and mess with that is somewhat frustrating,” said DeRosier.
The group paying for the ads is a public charity in California called Tides Advocacy. The group involved Ben Cohen, with New Orleans non profit “Promise of Justice Initiative.”
“The law is racially motivated,” said Cohen. “The law is racists, and it operates in a racist way and when people of power are indifferent to racism that’s a problem.”
When Tides Advocacy called Cohen about putting up the billboards, he was shocked but supportive.