SHREVEPORT, La. -- A resolution to recognize National Law Enforcement Day in Caddo Parish was rejected when all six Democratic commissioners voted no last week.
Republican Mario Chavez introduced the symbolic statement of support, so that Caddo Parish could join local governments all across the country in showing support on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on January 9.
But fellow Commissioner Steven Jackson said he had a couple of problems with it.
"The constituency that I represent don't always have the best relationship with law enforcement and I want to be cautious of the message that we're sending," Jackson told the meeting, which was held via Zoom.
That meeting was on Thursday, January 7, the day after the pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol. Jackson indicated that police treatment of the rioters also factored into his opposition of the resolution.
"I'm wrestling with that, particularly after the scenes of yesterday knowing that there's a double standard obviously, and it was on display yesterday," Jackson said.
Chavez says he was surprised at the opposition from the Democratic side.
"It's a day and age when we're so polarized and divided that it's ready for at least us the commission to kind of come together and say let's agree on some stuff," Chavez said.
Of Jackson individually, Chavez said, "He represents a district. And at the end of the day, it's not always his opinion. He has to speak for the people that live in his district. And I think he did."
Jackson declined to speak with KTBS about his opposition. Instead, he gave a written statement blasting Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator.
“It is quite concerning that our chief law enforcement officer and Homeland security designee for Caddo parish has the time and passion to speak on a resolution that is already nationally recognized but has failed to publicly speak on the deadly insurrection against our nation and law enforcement in Washington DC. Moreover, has yet to publicly offer condolences for the unfortunate death of the brave member of the capital police who died defending this mob attack," Jackson wrote.
Jackson's statement appeared to be motivated by an email that Prator sent to all of his deputies on Friday about the resolution's defeat.
Prator wrote, in part, "Please do not be discouraged or think that these particular dissenting commissioners speak for the majority of the citizens in Caddo Parish. You are very much appreciated, therefore, I have proclaimed Tuesday, January 26, 2021, as ‘Law Enforcement Appreciation Day’ in Caddo Parish."
Jackson had also said during the meeting he would support the resolution if it was worded to just include local enforcement -- not those nationally.
Chavez says he's now working with Jackson on a new resolution that will be introduced next week. It would thank local law enforcement and frontline workers who've been serving amid the pandemic.