Trayvon Martin online comments may have now cost former New Orleans, Louisiana police officer Jason Giroir his right to a city attorney to fight his wrongful death lawsuit in the 2012 shooting of a suspect. According to a report by Naomi Martin in Friday’s The Times-Picayune, ex-NOPD officer Giroir appears to have lost his rights to a city attorney to defend him because of his big mouth online.
The Trayvon Martin online comments have already cost Giroir his job with NOPD.
In the original brouhaha, the NOPD officer was signed into Facebook to comment on WWL TV’s article, “Hoodie Dat Day held in New Orleans for Trayvon Martin.” The March 25, 2012 piece was published in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Supporters were rallying to call for prosecutors to bring Zimmerman to trial.
However, according to The Times Picayune, an unsympathetic Jason Giroir posted online comments including: “Act like a Thug. Die like one!” and “[C]ome on down to our town with a ‘Hoodie’ and you can join Martin in HELL and talk about your racist stories!”
Giroir’s comments seem to have been removed from WWL, but you can still see plenty of the reaction comments there.
Because the Trayvon Martin online comments were linked to Giroir’s Facebook account, it wasn’t long before the remarks blew up in his face — especially since he was already under investigation for an exchange of gunfire with Justin Sipp after a Mid-City traffic stop.
Giroir was suspended from NOPD and eventually resigned.
The shooting was eventually ruled to be justified. Justin Sipp was found to have fired 14 shots at police officers before Jason Giroir shot and killed him.
Nonetheless, the family of Justin Sipp have filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit against the former officer — and the New Orleans city attorney’s office has said they won’t help defend him. They haven’t said why.
But there’s speculation that it’s because of a conflict of interest. The city of New Orleans and active New Orleans police officers including the chief have also been named in the lawsuit.
A Fraternal Order of Police attorney, Raymond Burkart III, said it would be a conflict of interest for the city to represent the disgraced officer while also trying to defend the police chief and the city: “You can’t have the attorney talking out of both sides of his mouth in a court of law.”
Here’s a video about the original WWL and Facebook comments scandal from the New Orleans Tribune. Made before Giroir resigned, it includes a community meeting where NAACP and other leaders demanded his resignation:
One of the speakers said: “It’s no longer an allegation that he made those statements, he’s admitted that…If he can say ‘Live like a thug, die like a thug’ based on someone’s apparel, that means that all of us that are here are in jeopardy.”
Now it appears that ex-New Orleans police officer Jason Giroir’s Trayvon Martin online comments have cost him his attorney as well as his job.
[NOPD cruiser photo by Daniel Schwen via Wikimedia]