Police chief apologizes to Louisiana woman cited for wearing shorts and a crop top

Casey LaCaze-Lachney posted a TikTok video describing an incident in Winnfield, Louisiana, where she received a public indecency charge on Saturday, June 11.
@kazzi112 Update on the citation you guys have been waiting so patiently for !! I’ll give you more as i know more! #wrongfulcitation #offendedyet #makeitmakesense #standforyourrights #update #victimshaming ♬ original sound - Casey

Winnfield, Louisiana woman Casey LaCaze-Lachney received an indecent exposure citation while attending a festival downtown and took to TikTok to complain. LaCaze-Lachney and her attorney Randall T. Hayes met with the Winnfield Chief of Police on Tuesday, July 12.

Hayes and LaCaze-Lachney met with Police Chief Johnny Ray Carpenter and Winnfield City Attorney Herman Castete on Tuesday. Hayes said both Carpenter and Castete acknowledged that LaCaze-Lachney did not violate the city's indecent exposure ordinance.

"Mr. Castete said that he will have the citation officially dismissed," said Hayes. "Both men told us that there is no body camera video of the incident. According to Chief Carpenter the officers all failed to turn on their cameras."

Hayes reports that Carpenter stated that Lieutenant Chuck Curry instructed the three police officers to issue that indecent exposure citation. Winnfield Police Communications Officer Doris Pailet confirmed one of the three officers was Lt. Curry's wife, Angie Curry.

"This means that the ordinance was improperly enforced not just by three lower level officers, but by the police department's lieutenant," explained Hayes. "It also means that those officers failed to turn on their body cameras even though they were responding to a matter to which they had been directed by the lieutenant."

Read the original story here: Louisiana woman posts viral TikTok video after citation for wearing shorts and crop top

Hayes said Carpenter found a video a bystander took at the festival showing part of LaCaze-Lachney's encounter with the police officers. Carpenter confirmed that she was wearing the same outfit in the bystander video that she was wearing in the now viral TikTok.

"We are pleased that Casey is being officially exonerated," said Hayes. "We appreciate Chief Carpenter's gracious apology. We thank both Chief Carpenter and Mr. Castete for acknowledging the mistakes the department made in this situation. We are not completely satisfied though. There are some serious problems, seemingly systematic ones in how the Winnfield Police Department operates. I have to wonder how many times this city ordinance and others have been improperly enforced against people who were never vindicated because they were not as social media savvy as Casey."

Hayes and LaCaze-Lachney are deciding on how to move forward with the information they were given at the meeting.

Read the July 1 update here: Louisiana woman to meet with police chief about citation for shorts, crop top in viral TikTok

LaCaze-Lachney posted an update on her TikTok account on Tuesday, July 12 where she commended Carpenter on his apology and filled in her followers on how the meeting went.

"The Chief of Police has full respect from me," said LaCaze-Lachney in the video. "He looked me in the eye today and apologized on behalf of everybody and was like 'I am sorry you went through that, you shouldn't have gone through that.' He is not against me, none of them are against me."

The Shreveport Times has reached out to Winnfield Police Chief Carpenter for comment, but have not received a response.

Meredith G. White is the arts and culture reporter for the Shreveport Times. You can find her on Facebook as Meredith G. White, on Instagram and Twitter as @meredithgwhite, and email her at mgwhite@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Shreveport Times: Charges dismissed, apology for Louisiana woman cited for shorts, crop top