On January 22, 2003 a Federal Jury, in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals found, unanimously, in favor of the City of Thibodaux, Chief Craig Melancon, and named officers in a federal lawsuit alleging that officers of the Thibodaux Police Department violated the civil rights of Mr. Terry M. Griffin. The jury found that Mr. Griffin was not denied his rights, nor did he suffer any permanent injury stemming from an arrest that occurred February 22, 2000.
The incident occurred in the evening hours of February 22, 2000 when officers saw Mr. Griffin near the intersection of Back and Cleveland Streets with an open container of beer. When officers began to approach Mr. Griffin, Mr. Griffin ran from police officers despite their orders to him to stop. A pursuit then ensued for several blocks before coming to an end near St. Charles and Pecan Streets. Mr. Griffin was arrested and booked on the charges of Possession, Sale, or Consumption of an Alcoholic Beverage in Public and Resisting an Officer.
Chief Craig Melancon stated, “ I am extremely pleased with the outcome of the verdict and in matters such as this, it is important to have them tried in the proper court of jurisdiction.” The Chief went on to say that, “It is imperative not to allow ourselves to be moved by feelings or opinions, but more importantly to the have the facts heard and presented.” Chief Melancon ended by saying, “I am very pleased with the outcome.”
Mayor Charles Caillouet said that he was happy with the results and stated, “the jury, who is the finder of fact, reached the correct verdict by examining the facts of the lawsuit.
Camille Morvant and Kristine Russell of the law firm Morvant and Cavell represented the City of Thibodaux in this matter.