SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Shreveport family is demanding an independent investigation after their loved one died while in custody at the Caddo Correctional Center.
The family of Casey Simpson also wants to see surveillance video footage from March 16, the day Simpson was found breathing but unresponsive in his cell. CCC staff and paramedics attempted to revive him, but he was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
“We want answers. We not letting this go,” Laura Sabbath said Monday evening outside Government Plaza after going before the Caddo Parish Commission to make the case for an independent investigation into the death of her 31-year-old son.
“My baby didn’t die of natural causes,” Sabbath said. “I’m saying my baby didn’t just drop dead.”
According to an investigative report released last week by the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, Simpson had undisclosed medical issues and had refused medication prescribed to him over 100 times since he was booked into the parish correctional facility last summer.
A preliminary report from the Caddo Parish coroner’s office found that Simpson died from health issues, not trauma. A final autopsy with toxicology results will be available in a few weeks.
Simpson’s family wants an independent investigation.
“They need to not be supervised, public or private institution, you need to have somebody in there to hold those people accountable,” said Simpson’s eldest sister, Fame Roberson.
“We want an entity that has no connection with Louisiana,” Shreveport activist Breka Peoples, who joined Simpson’s family outside Government Plaza after Monday’s commission meeting in support of their demand for an independent investigation. “We want the people in Washington to come to investigate all law enforcement in Northwest Louisiana including Monroe too. Because we see that it is just not in Shreveport it’s everywhere.”
“It was very hard to sit back and listen to without feeling their pain,” said Caddo Commissioner Steven Jackson, who has introduced a new ordinance he said would allow any family to request an external investigation on any death that takes place on parish property. He said they would request aid from LSP and other entities to review local matters upon request.
“This is not about targeting any specific entity but it is about making sure that there is integrity in the process and there is transparency in the process,” Jackson said.
“The truth needs to come out about what happened to Casey Simpson. So I’m asking for the same video that they watched, I want to see them too,” said Laura Sabbath.
The Caddo Parish Commission could vote on the ordinance as early as Thursday.