Police union breaks silence on chief's firing
Chris Stewart, president of the Baton Rouge Union of Police Local 237, today announced his support for Mayor Kip Holden's decision to fire Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White, saying White's termination ended "the most tumultuous era ever within the Baton Rouge Police Department." In a statement released to the media today, Stewart blames White for an increase in violent crime last year. "Rather than work with us to address this issue, Chief White chose to publicly attack our organization and its members without provocation in an attempt to shift the blame for the failure of his leadership," Stewart says. White frequently clashed with the union, and once publicly said the union was the biggest obstacle he faced in his attempts to improve the department. White's attorney, Jill Craft, claims Holden micromanaged White's personnel decisions. She says tensions got heated between White and the mayor last fall when White tried to transfer Stewart from a position of "professional standards" to "community policing"—basically moving him from a job with no duties "to one with work." Stewart says, "While Chief White knows the statements made by his attorney regarding the Baton Rouge Union of Police and its President were false, we must allow his legal appeal to follow its due course without further comment at this time." Read Stewart's statement here.
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