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Residents allege officer arrested for DWI terrorizes citizens

27th September 2013   ·   0 Comments

NOPD Officer Jayson Germann, the cop arrested on DWI charges over the Labor Day weekend, has more to worry about than simply the ramifications of getting arrested for driving while intoxicated.

Officer German was arrested about 2:30 a.m on Sunday, September 1, after an accident involving his take-home NOPD vehicle resulted in charges of DWI and careless operation.

He has since been placed on emergency suspension shout pay until the NOPD’s Public Integrity Bureau has completed its investigation of the incident.

Most recently, Officer Germann had been reassigned to the Gang Intelligence Unit, which has received high praise from New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas for its success in getting violent criminals off the streets of New Orleans.

But a glimpse at some of the accusations being made against Officer Germann suggests that some of the arrests made in cases involving reputed gang members may not have been handled according to official NOPD policy and the U.S. Constitution standards.

Residents of the River Garden Apartments in uptown New Orleans allege that Germann has been a terrorizing force in the neighbor and have filed 37 complaints over the past three years against him.

“He terrorizes the neighborhood,” a resident who spoke to WDSU News on the condition of anonymity said last week.

“That’s what they call him — ‘Bloodhound.’ … He’s very, very, very crooked,” another neighbor who also wished to remain anonymous said.

One convicted felon told WDSU News that Germann has a history of abuse and intimidation.

“I could be around all these guys, and one person could have drugs on them, and I don’t have drugs on me, but he don’t have any convictions. What they do is, they gone take the drugs off of him and put it on somebody they know it’s going to stick on,” the resident, who did not want to be identified, told WDSU.

“He plants drugs on people. If he stops you, if he don’t like you, he plant drugs on you and take you to jail,” another neighbor who wished to remain anonymous told WDSU.

In January, River Garden Apart­ment residents took their dissatisfaction with what they termed abuse and mistreatment by Officer Germann to the streets, complaining to management of the complex about living conditions created by Germann’s actions as the complex’s detail officer.

“He’s wreaking havoc in this community the way he roughs people up, physically assaults people, and is constantly threatening people,” Ronald McCoy, a resident spokesman and organizer with Safe Streets/Strong Communities, told nola.com in January. “We’ve told (River Garden management) but he’s still here doing what he’s doing so our complaints just go in the wastebasket.”

According to nola.com, River Garden residents met with the Deputy Chief Arlinda Westbrook of the NOPD’s Public Integrity Bu­reau and Independent Police Monitor Susan Hutson in the Fall of 2012 to voice their dissatisfaction with Germann.

“The people we deal with in the River Garden area are absolutely terrified of him and that reflects poorly on the department as a whole,” Hutson who has been monitoring Germann since she was hired in June 2010, told nola.com.

Raymond Burkhart III, Ger­mann’s attorney and a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, told nola.com in January that his client is “dedicated to trying to suppress crime in that area and that won’t make everyone happy but that’s his job and he will continue to do his job. Police officers are not required to smile when they’re doing their jobs. They are required to treat you with respect but they’re not required to smile.”

In a letter to NOPD Super­inten­dent Ronal Serpas and Commander Arlinda Westbrook of the Public Integrity Bureau last week, Community United for Change called on the New Orleans Police Department to terminate Germann immediately.

“Upon hearing the news of Jayson Germann’s DWI arrest, Community United for Change reviewed the numerous complaints Officer Jayson Germann has received in our office and the numerous complaints CUC helped civilians file at the Public Integrity Bureau,” the organization said in a statement Friday. What is instrumental to this DWI arrest is the nature of the complaints waged against Officer Germann over the past four years. While Officer Germann was performing his duties as a 6th District police officer, there have been numerous complaints surrounding illegal behaviors that range from beatings, to drug confiscation without being made a part of the official report, to planting drugs on civilians who were found to be without contraband, and other complaints that were found to be unsustainable. These all fall under the cloak of unconstitutional policing.

“In addition, CUC was told last year that Officer Jayson Germann had been reassigned from the narcotics squad to regular beat patrolman,” CUC added. “It is with a sense of distress that CUC recently read that Officer Jayson Germann was reassigned to NOPD’s gang intelligence unit. With the record Officer Jayson Germann has acquired during his tenure with the Police Department, Officer Jayson Germann should have been fired from the force years ago. CUC believes if Officer Jayson Ger­mann had been stopped by the NOPD this case would have never seen the light of day. Officer Jayson Germann’s disregard for public safety and the preservation of life should be enough to convince Chief Serpas and the Public Integrity Bureau to dismiss Officer Jayson Germann for his criminal behaviors.

“CUC urges Public Integrity and Chief Ronal Serpas to dismiss Officer Jayson Germann for the criminal behavior of driving while intoxicated.”

This article originally published in the September 9, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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