NEW ORLEANS — A deputy constable and a property manager were shot while serving an eviction warrant, NOPD said Wednesday. The role of a deputy constable is not often well understood, so we looked into their responsibilities.
In New Orleans, Constable Lambert Boissiere Jr. is the chief law enforcement officer over First City Court. It's his responsibility to make sure the court's orders are carried out, anything from summons to eviction notices
"This eviction actually came through my office but then it goes to the constable's office for them to execute the warrant. it goes to show how dangerous law enforcement is," First City Clerk of Court Austin Badon said about the eviction that led to a shooting.
Badon explained that in this case, the eviction was filed in his office. According to First City Court documents, the tenant was 10 months behind on his $218 monthly rent, but before a tenant is evicted, a deputy constable serves an eviction notice by physically handing the tenant a piece of paper or posting it on their door.
"The constable executes warrants virtually on a daily basis. We never want it to get to this point, that's why we try to help landlords and tenants before they go to court to come up with a win-win situation," Badon said.
Badon said in this case, the tenant didn't leave and the judge ruled in favor of the landlord. The deputy constable's job Wednesday, was to get the tenant out.
"We've had this incident happen once before here in New Orleans. When you execute a warrant you have to forcibly go into the unit, you just never know what's on the other side of that door," Badon said.
Deputy constables in New Orleans are fully-trained law enforcement officers who go through the academy. They are armed, but Boissiere said they are directed to not use their weapon if possible. They are instructed to call NOPD if they have a problem.
"In this case he didn't have a chance to call anyone because it was unexpected the way things went down but our guys do not pull weapons out unless extreme situations," Boissiere said.