SHREVEPORT, La. – Some city officials are taking action to find out if the talk of the town is true –- and that involves allegations that Mayor Adrian Perkins has been let go during traffic stops at least twice by Shreveport Police and possibly a third time by another agency.
KTBS 3-Investigates has been looking into the claims since July 1. Government Plaza began its own fact-finding last week.
KTBS obtained a July 14 letter from the city’s internal auditor on behalf of a City Council member that serves on the City Audit and Finance Committee to Police Chief Ben Raymond. She never mentions Perkins by name, but auditor Leanis Steward asks Raymond for police dashcam, audio and written reports from April 4, July 4 and July 9, naming streets and time frames.
Steward also asks for traffic stop records of three officers she names in the request, as well as a request to interview them and the department's deputy chief about the stops.
During an unrelated July 10 Zoom interview with Perkins, KTBS asked the mayor about each of those alleged stops, including that at least one may have involved drinking and driving.
Here’s what Perkins said about a traffic stop that he said was in April.
- "I've been pulled over one time since I've been mayor. And that was because I went down a one-way street downtown when I was going home because of construction. So it's just sad that they would say something like that. I would never drink and drive."
- "There was construction downtown and a detour sign pointed me down a one way."
- "I allegedly said, yeah, I know I'm going down a one way. They said, yeah, just loop around. And that was it. And that was just a block from my house."
During the interview, Perkins invited KTBS to file a public records requests. He said he has nothing to hide.
KTBS had already submitted several records requests before that interview. Even though Perkins admits to being stopped one time, Shreveport police have said they can't find the specific information such as video, audio, or any other records of that stop.
KTBS requested an interview with Raymond before noon Friday. He was unavailable.
However, he supplied the following statement after 6 p.m.: “After these rumors started circulating on the internet I looked thoroughly into these matters. SPD has reviewed records, interviewed officers, reviewed stop data from Caddo 911, reviewed MVS footage. The Mayor says he was pulled over for turning the wrong way down a one way road downtown, but we found nothing to substantiate any of these other allegations. We have also worked diligently to fulfill multiple public records requests pertaining to these supposed incidents.“
Back to the auditor. Her request for information came in response to a member of the council's audit and finance committee. She doesn't say who.
These are the four members: Republicans Grayson Boucher and John Nickelson, and Democrats LeVette Fuller and Jerry Bowman.
Boucher said he is waiting for facts to come in before commenting. Nickelson and Fuller declined comment. Bowman says he did not ask for the audit.
Also, the other three council members have not replied for comment.
The information the auditor requested is similar to information the 3-Investigates team has been asking for for weeks.
Details in the auditor's letter -- including the dates and times of the alleged traffic stops, the locations and the officers reportedly involved -- all match up with the details KTBS has received from multiple reliable law enforcement sources.
Shreveport police have said they found no records specific to the KTBS requests. That was until 2:30 p.m. Friday when the assistant city attorney emailed KTBS, saying audio dispatch and traffic logs from April 5, July 4 and July 9 were available.
KTBS went to City Hall to review dozens of pages of dispatcher call logs. KTBS was provided with a USB drive with those logs for April 5, July 4 and July 8-9 and recordings of dispatcher calls from April 5. The information is under review.
KTBS made its first request on July 1 to the Shreveport Police Department asking for video and audio from officers’ dash cams of traffic stops downtown early on April 5.
On July 8, the records request was narrowed to ask for video and audio from officers that KTBS was told pulled Perkins over. The mayor was not mentioned by name; however, on the same day KTBS received a response from the city attorney’s office, which said, “I have requested the SPD to review any videos or incident reports relating to Adrian Perkins on the date of April 5 from 1-3 a.m."
On July 10, KTBS revises the request after being told about another alleged wrong-way traffic stop downtown the night before.
Three days later, KTBS is told there were no records related to the first request. So another records request was sent straight to the city attorney's office -- for everything asked for up until this point – and being as detailed and specific as possible based on what sources told KTBS.
Then on Tuesday, KTBS is notified by the city attorney that records related to the April 5 stop were available. KTBS was given records of four traffic stops in the downtown area that day, but none of them were on Crockett Street.
And none involved Perkins, even though the mayor told KTBS on July 10 that he was pulled over that day -- just not for drinking and driving.