NOPD cruiser allegedly runs red light, hits pedestrians

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A NOPD cruiser ran a red light and collided with two people last Saturday night in the Central Business District, sending both to the emergency room, according to their attorney.

According to a press release issued by the NOPD, the officer involved was off-duty and was responding to an emergency call at the time of the accident. The NOPD did not provide additional details other than to say that “the officer driving the car underwent standard after-accident testing, which included substance abuse tests.”

According to the couple’s lawyer, the police car was travelling river-bound on St. Joseph Street ran a red light, hit a taxi that was travelling upriver on St. Charles Avenue, jumped the curb, and hit the two pedestrians before smashing through the 6-foot-high wrought-iron parking lot fence. According to the lawyer, the lights of the police car were not activated at the time.

Further, the lawyer states that another pedestrian, a middle-aged man, took several photos at the scene but an New Orleans Police Department officer ordered him to stop doing so and to leave. The pedestrian advised the police he was a lawyer and knew his rights.

Ordering a citizen to stop taking photographs or video of a crime and/or accident scene on a public street may be an unlaful or unconstitutional act by a law enforcement official. Many cities have passed ordinances that make it illegal for police departments and law enforcement officals to prevent or prohibit any person’s ability to observe, photograph, and/or make a video recording of police activity that occurs in the public domain, so long as the person’s location, actions, and/or behavior do not create a legitimate, articulable threat to Officer safety, or an unlawful hindrance to successful resolution of the police activity.

If you or anyone you know has been arrested for DWI, call Harmon Smith & Vourvoulias immediately at 504-717-2093 for a free case evaluation. Our experienced DWI lawyers are available to provide you with the help you need to protect your rights.

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By George Vourvoulias

George is a founding member and managing member of Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias L.L.C., a New Orleans law firm. George concentrates his practice in maritime personal injury, construction litigation, personal injury, workers' compensation, medical malpractice, and DUI defense. George Vourvoulias's Google+ Profile