A Louisiana woman said she wanted to open a dialogue with her mayor about issues in her community, including a deadly police shooting of Trayford Pellerin, so she decided to throw a barbecue outside his home.
“Usually when you sit at a table and eat with people, even complete strangers open up the dialogue to have good conversation and that was the goal of yesterday,” said Tara Laxey of Lafayette.
Laxey hosted a cookout outside the home of Mayor Josh Guillory. A member of his administration met with her at the beginning of the event, but left quickly after getting a call, Laxey said.
“Carlos Harvin would’ve stayed around because he did show up and it is on my live feed,” Laxey recalled. “He got a call right after he got there from Josh and you can hear him say, ‘Okay Mr. Mayor I understand. I got you.’ And he left. The same man who a couple of hours before on the phone wanted to speak and address the community to bridge the gap because that’s basically his job title.”
Shortly after their meeting, police paid Laxey a visit.
“As I’m talking to the police officers, well it’s a public street. Well then I’ll put it in my truck. That’s a hazard. Well can I put it in my sidewalk then? No that’s obstructing traffic also. What about the grass between the sidewalk and the street. Can I put it there?” she recalled. “And then before I knew it, they didn’t say if you don’t move you can get arrested. And before I knew they said something about a 1015 and ma’am we putting you under arrest.”
Laxey bonded out of jail with money raised by her community.
While Laxey says she meant no harm by her demonstration, the mayor feels otherwise.
“That’s not protest. That’s public intimidation. My wife and my children had to witness that just like many in the community have had to witness that. our community will not tolerate civil unrest,” Guillory said at a press conference.
“Anyone has been paying attention to the last three to four months–we’ve been fighting about this budget. The recreational centers how he’s targeted district five only in the rec centers. Telling him he’s being racially insensitive and I need you to be more aware of the words and behaviors you choose.”