Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Fire and jail rapist NOPD officer Gerry Paul!

By staff

Protesters hold signs during Paul's trial.

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from New Orleans for Community Oversight of Police and Real Name Campaign NOLA.

New Orleans, LA – In May 2021, NOPD officer Gerry Paul raped a crime lab technician in his Mid-City apartment. He put her in a police hold while his gun sat on the nightstand. After the survivor reported this, Gerry Paul was arrested and suspended for 120 days. Paul’s bail was set at $25,000. This was low for his crime, and he was able to post it immediately. Within a month, the NOPD overturned Gerry Paul’s suspension.

For the next 16 months, the NOPD put Gerry Paul on desk duty in the 5th district. He still carries a gun and has first response duty in the case of a nearby crime. The case didn’t move forward and the survivor’s rape kit went untested.

After an inquiry from the Times Picayune in August 2022, the NOPD submitted a request for expedited processing to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab. The lab has a backlog of 73,000 untested rape kits.

In September, Gerry Paul was finally charged with 2nd-degree rape. At his arraignment in October, he pleaded not guilty. New Orleans for Community Oversight of the Police (NOCOP) and the Real Name Campaign protested in and outside the courthouse, demanding that the NOPD fire Paul immediately and the court charge him for his crime. The NOPD and the court won’t give us justice, we have to demand it from them!

Gerry Paul is just one example of the NOPD’s failures. Every 10 days, someone files an intimate violence complaint against an NOPD officer. In New Orleans, the majority of survivors of sexual assault, harassment, and rape by NOPD officers are young Black women.

Current forms of “oversight” are toothless. The NOPD’s corruption and violence continues against civilians. We demand democratic community control of the NOPD because we believe in the right of New Orleanians to decide who polices our streets and how we are policed.

We deserve real democracy, and so we demand community control! We demand justice! It’s time we stand up and fight back! With community control, we can immediately fire and arrest cops like Gerry Paul instead of delaying and denying, all the while re-traumatizing the police’s victims.

NOCOP and the Real Name Campaign are continuing to demand Gerry Paul’s conviction and immediate firing from the NOPD. His next court appearance is at the end of January–we need all hands on deck! We need you to help with outreach, taking up roles at actions, or spreading the word. Stay tuned in by following @n.o.cop on Instagram or @NOCOP on Facebook!

#NewOrleansLA #PoliceBrutality #RealNameCampaignNOLA #NewOrleansForCommunityOversightOfThePoliceNOCOP