Sheriff: Deputy cleared

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 17, 2005

VIDALIA, La. &045; The U.S. Department of Justice has concluded a Concordia Parish deputy did not commit a civil rights violation in the shooting death of a Ferriday man.

The Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office released a statement Tuesday saying the DOJ Civil Rights Division had finished its investigation of the Aug. 23 incident and had cleared Deputy David Hedrick of wrongdoing.

The press release quotes Albert N. Moskowitz, chief of the Criminal Section of Civil Rights in Washington, as saying that evidence &uot;does not establish a prosecutable violation of the federal criminal rights statutes. Accordingly, we have closed our investigation.&uot;

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Officials of the Criminal Section in Washington could not be reached for comment, and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Louisiana said late Tuesday they had not yet gotten notification of the decision.

Sheriff’s Office representatives could not be reached late Tuesday afternoon for a copy of Moskowitz’s letter.

The incident in question took place after Hedrick responded to a Doty Road harassment call involving Hedrick.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Hedrick, who could not be reached for comment late Tuesday afternoon, fired four or five shots at Fredrick Lollis of Ferriday when Lollis refused to drop a gun pointed at the deputy.

Some local residents have maintained the shooting was racially motivated. Hedrick is white, while Lollis was black.

Lollis’ mother, Ruth Lollis, would not comment when contacted at home Tuesday.

A Concordia Parish grand jury in December reviewed evidence from an investigation conducted by the District Attorney’s Office and the Louisiana State Police. The grand jury determined there was not enough evidence for the case to go to trial.

&uot;This case has been investigated by the D.A.’s Office, the State Police, the grand jury, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice,&uot; Sheriff Randy Maxwell said in a written statement. &uot;Every agency had cleared Deputy Hedrick and found that his actions were justified.

&uot;Maybe we can put this issue to rest &045; not only for the Lollis family, but also for the Hedrick family,&uot; he said.