The hate crime charge against a man who allegedly yelled racial and sexist slurs at an NOPD officer may not stand under the 'Blue Live Matter' law.
According to the ACLU of Louisiana, police booked Raul Delatoba on a hate crime charge earlier this week under the new 'Blue Lives Matter' law put into effect by the Louisiana legislature.
According to an initial police report, officers were called to the Royal Sonesta Hotel in the French Quarter were Delatoba allegedly broke a window. The report says witnesses heard Delatoba, whose home address is listed as a homeless shelter, punching the glass. When they went to stop him he began yelling racial slurs at them.
Officers initially arrested Delatoba for property damage, but added the felony after he allegedly shouted sexist and racist slurs at officers in the 8th District police station according to the ACLU.
"Delatoba’s behavior, while deeply offensive, is not illegal and in fact is protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constititution," the ACLU said in a statement released Thursday afternoon. "While racist, sexist, and other similar language may show a lack of respect for law enforcement, it is the job of the police to protect even the rights of those whose opinions they don’t share."
NOPD Communications Director Tyler Gamble said that the arresting officer applied the law incorrectly and that the hate crime charge could be dropped.
"After reviewing the initial facts of the case, it is clear that the responding officer incorrectly applied the law relative to a hate crime in this incident," Gamble said. "The District Attorney’s Office will make the final determination on charges in this investigation, as it does in all investigations."
Raul Delatoba, is currently charged with simple criminal damage to property, disturbing the peace and felony hate crimes.
(© 2016 WWL)