The new report by Independent Police Monitor Stella Crizment should have been a real eye-opener for many New Orleanians. It shines a bright light on a number of actions that appear designed to intimidate and malign an outspoken culture bearer, Belden “Noonie Man” Batiste, who is currently chairing the effort to recall Mayor LaToya Cantrell.
Almost a year ago, Batiste, who is related to the Batiste family of celebrated musicians that Cantrell recently honored, spoke out against then-Sen. Karen Carter Peterson at a forum, while both were running for the U.S. Second Congressional District seat. Then-Councilman Jay Banks, a Peterson political ally, was so undone that he and his armed driver suddenly appeared at Batiste’s Treme home for a not-so-friendly chat. Fearing for his personal safety, Batiste called the police. That 911 call was not recorded, authorities said.
The investigating officer arrives without an item number slip.