On Monday, Feb. 18, I watched on television the demise of common sense in Baton Rouge. An honorable and decent man, Police Chief Dewayne White, attempted to defend himself against numerous charges leveled by the mayor against his decisions as the leader of the Baton Rouge Police Department. Without any doubt in my mind, Chief White totally refuted all claims made against him by Mayor Kip Holden.
I have known Chief White for over 30 years and I know him to be a man dedicated to doing the right thing for the right reasons. He knew what was needed to bring the Baton Rouge Police Department into the 21st century and he did what was needed to be done. Because of his commitment to the city of Baton Rouge, he refused to allow politics to govern his police agency decisions. I say, “Bravo, Chief White.”
I, as much as anyone, knows what it costs to stand by your convictions. Chief White constantly tried to bring the city of Baton Rouge together as a progressive, growing city. He worked tirelessly to bring the various races and creeds into a unified effort to make Baton Rouge a better place to live.
Chief White has been fired, and regardless of what part the city police union played in the decision, the ultimate deciding factor has been Mayor Holden. To fire a man of vision and unquestioned, in my mind, a person of total dedication to doing what’s right for the city of Baton Rouge, is just plain wrong. I always thought Baton Rouge was moving in the right direction under the leadership of Mayor Holden. Now I think otherwise. Shame, shame Mayor Holden.
Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, retired