A legal path has been cleared for the family of Trayford Pellerin to see the body-worn camera footage documenting the 31-year-old’s fatal encounter with Lafayette police.
After a lengthy parlay among lawyers representing Pellerin’s family, Lafayette Consolidated Government and the three media organizations on one hand and the officers involved in the shooting on the other, a temporary restraining order granted to the officers, which blocked release of the video and other evidence, was dismissed Tuesday.
The decision by the officers’ legal team to compromise by dropping the request for injunctive relief clears the way for Mayor-President Josh Guillory to follow through on a promise he made to Pellerin’s family. In a private meeting with the grieving family, Guillory committed to securing the viewing in part as a gesture of reconciliation. The meeting came two weeks after police responded to a disturbance with a knife call at a north Lafayette gas station and pursued Pellerin on foot for a half-mile; police say they unsuccessfully tased him before shooting and killing him when he attempted to enter a different gas station. The family’s attorneys had fought unsuccessfully to get the footage released while state police investigate the shooting. The mayor-president’s promise essentially circumvented the public records exemption the officers and state police say shields the video from public view.
“It’s a huge victory for the Pellerins, constitutional law and public records,” said Chase Trichell, one of the Pellerin family’s Baton Rouge attorneys. “They’ve kept their word,” he said of Guillory and the administration.