Public Statement on Behalf of Eugene Grant

We would like to thank the NOPD for releasing the body camera footage of the arrest of Eugene Grant so that the public can see exactly what occurred on the night of July 8th. 

What is clear from the video is that what occurred on Frenchmen Street that night was terrifying for all those who witnessed it, horrifying for the crowd, the responding NOPD officers, and, most of all, terrifying for Eugene, who is disabled and autistic.  What is clear from the video is that, as a community, we are lucky that the situation was not more catastrophic and that we all need to work together to ensure that it does not reoccur.

Ultimately, what Eugene wants is to play music and to be safe while doing it.  We must have serious conversations about community policing, the use of force in responding to nonviolent calls, as well as how the NOPD is trained to respond to those with disabilities.  We need to have dialogue about the peaceful coexistence of business owners and musicians on Frenchmen Street. We are happy to report that conversations about positive changes are already in place.  We want to thank Chief Ferguson, Chief Westbrook, Councilwoman Palmer, Mayor Cantrell, and the countless members of the music community, who have all reached out to Eugene and his family following this incident, and we encourage collaboration and dialogue into the future that includes the musicians with a seat at the table during these discussions.  With constructive efforts, we are confident that we can all move forward together positively.

Thank you again for your support, and we hope to see you on Sunday, July 21 at 2 p.m. at Washington Artillery Park for a rally in a show of support for our musicians in New Orleans.  Eugene invites you to come and asks for you to peacefully demonstrate your love for our local musicians.

 

Megan Kiefer