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Arrest of Shreveport firemen leads to attorney concerns - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Arrest of Shreveport firemen leads to attorney concerns

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one arrest at a time for Shreveport Firefighters at station 8 one arrest at a time for Shreveport Firefighters at station 8
SHREVEPORT, La -

"They're not gang members," Peter Flowers says of his client Clint Richardson, 26, and the other Shreveport firemen currently facing charges. "Any one of their lawyers would have been happy to have brought them to the courthouse or to the police station, and I'm sure they would have reported themselves. Just call and tell them to show up."

Flowers says Richardson is a hero, not a common criminal, but the way he and other firemen have been treated in recent weeks has created a media circus. He says the arrests one-after-another keeps the suspects' names in headlines and their mug shots in the public eye.

"Every time they arrest an individual, this whole story comes back to light," Flowers says. "Now whether that was intended or not, the effect of arresting these men every two or three days has been a disservice to everyone."

Cpl. Marcus Hines, Public Information Officer for the Shreveport Police Department says the department, "regardless of media coverage", doesn't operate that way. Hines goes on to say he thinks "for someone to suggest that is clearly absurd".

While SPD does not comment on ongoing criminal investigations, Hines says officers conduct round-ups when timing counts and safety is a concern.

Because these firemen are part of the community, they are not likely to skip town and deemed unlikely to harm themselves or anyone else to avoid arrest.

"We follow the evidence as it leads us," Hines says. "In cases where an arrest is made, it's made once probable cause has been established."

Flowers says the trail of arrests could lead to a pre-trial problem: the inability to create an impartial jury.

Flowers doubts there are a dozen people in the area who have heard of these firefighters without judging their guilt or innocence.

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