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Corrections Officers Face Backlash After Posing For Photo With Felon They Apprehended

Washington Parish, LA – Four Louisiana corrections officers who posed for a photo with a handcuffed, smiling felon after they helped track him down and apprehended him are facing backlash over the image.

“It brings about the history of slavery when you think about hunting of African Americans at one time,” Dillard University Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Ashraf Esmail told WWL. “With the issue of law enforcement and racial justice this past year, it really gives off a very, very bad optic.”

The series of events leading up to the photograph began after the Prentiss Police Department (PPD) asked for law enforcement assistance in a search for convicted felon Eric Boykin, the Independent reported.

Boykin was wanted on charges of felon in possession of a weapon and armed robbery.

According to investigators, he allegedly robbed a teller at Hancock Witney Bank in Prentiss at gunpoint and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash, Magnolia State Live reported.

Four Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPSC) from the Rayburn Correctional Center joined in the search, and successfully tracked the suspect down, WWL reported.

After handcuffing Boykin, who is black, the four white correctional officers posed for a photograph with the smiling, shirtless suspect.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Louisiana has demanded the four correctional officers be disciplined over the photo, WWL reported.

“It’s not becoming of a professional law enforcement officer because I know too many of them. They don’t do that. It sends a wrong message,” NAACP President Michael McClanahan told the news outlet.

“Those white officers think it’s a game,” McClanahan said.

The DPSC said the correctional officers didn’t violate any agency policies, but acknowledged they exercised “poor judgement” when the decided to pose for the shot, WWL reported.

“The picture should not have been taken; it was poor judgment,” the DPSC said. “We regret that it happened and will use this incident for sensitivity training for our staff.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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