Justice for Juanita Adams

Parish of Incident: Jefferson

Law Enforcement Agency: Kenner Police Department

I have had multiple encounters with several Officers from the Kenner Police Department in Louisiana, which I believe were racially motivated. 

My name is Juanita Adams. I am 23 years old. I live in Louisiana, where I was born and raised and have lived for some years now. I am an expecting mother and currently have a 3-month-old infant. One of my hobbies includes breeding dogs but what I like to do for fun is spend time with my family since I am a new mother. My focus is family.

I have experienced multiple negative encounters with the Kenner Police Department. On July 27, 2021, I had a previous encounter with Officer Saucier who has continuously harassed me along with other KPD officers. During the July incident, my car was found in a field by KPD officers, including Officer Saucier. I had not been driving the car and did not know how it got there. When I arrived to get my car with my 3-month-old baby in my arms, Officer Saucier said I could not touch the car because it was under investigation. The officers seized my car, alleging that it was nor mine, even though it was my rightfully owned property. When I went to retrieve it from the impound, the titles to my car were missing. I know the titles were in my car when the officers found it and I have a video of the cops taking away the titles from my car to prevent me from getting it back. I have not had a car since then which has been very difficult for me, especially with a now 5-month-old baby and particularly when Hurricane Ida hit and I could not easily get things for my family.

I have video proof of all of the incidents in which the officers previously harassed me and I would ask them where their body cameras were and they would just tell me to shut up and that they did not care about body cameras. Those same officers never even wore body cameras and never revealed their badge numbers when I tried asking them for it. They have been harassing me, treating me with blatant disrespect, and making my life more difficult, all without cause. I have filed a complaint against these officers but no one replied to me and nothing has been done in response to my complaint.

I genuinely believe I experienced police misconduct and racist policing on the night I was arrested, which led to my confinement at the correctional facility. I was arrested on September 25, 2021 at a Wing Snack Express in Kenner by KDP officers, including Officer Brian Saucier.

My sister and I had placed an order that night, and I remember during the phone conversation that the cashier worker neglected to ask for my name to jot it down. When we arrived at the restaurant to pick up our food, I informed the cashier that she should get into the habit of writing down customers’ names. My intention was not to be rude or mean. I honestly wanted to offer helpful advice. However, the cashier took offense at my comment and told me she did not have to serve us. She became very upset and threatened to call 911. To my suprise, one of her male colleagues, the cook, started throwing things at me and hit me. I made sure to record the incident on my phone, which I still possess. Eventually, the cops arrived and I immediately noticed that one of them was Officer Saucier. Having ran into him multiple times before, I knew that this wasn’t going to end well for me. I sensed that he would find any excuse to arrest me.

What upsets me to this day is that the officers arrested me for disturbing the peace and simple battery when the male worker was the first who started throwing things at me. They should have arrested him. I told the officers my side of the story and showed them the videos I recorded, but they refused to listen to me or watch the recordings and continually told me to shut up. This is why I believe my arrest was racially motivated. They did not mention anything explicitly about my race, but they clearly mistreated me and were very unprofessional. I know they would not have behaved this way if it were not for my race.

After I was arrested, the KPD officers brought me to the Jefferson Parish Gretna jail. I was verbally harassed and poorly disrespected by the correctional officers. They had no reason to treat me the way they did. They referred to me as “ugly” and “cockeyed,” which was very offensive. No one would give me a mask or water when I asked for some. Mind you, I was arrested during the pandemic. Absolutely no one was wearing masks inside the facility or practicing social-distancing—not the correctional officers, nor those of us who were detained. I did not know these people’s Covid-19 status, and some of the prisoners inside the cell were coughing and expressing Covid-like symptoms.

If the CDC were there to see the conditions I experienced, they would have shut down the facility. I know the correctional officers are paying the inspector off to not report any violations. I could see no other way that the facility was allowed to get away with this. I was especially worried about my baby, but not a soul cared that I was pregnant.

Eventually, I was put in a detox cell, even though I was not on drugs or under any influence. I am a mother of a three-year-old baby and have another child on the way. I do not know what they were thinking. I noticed that there was mold inside the detox cell, which was very unsanitary. Because of the stress and the nausea from the mold, I remember I threw up in the cell. I was so embarrassed and no one came to assist me. I was not even given water or anything to drink. I called for help multiple times, but to no avail. They just ignored me until 7am the next morning, when I was released. They finally gave me a mask when I left the facility, but I contracted the virus shortly after and most likely got infected in the facility.

I would like to see Kenner police stop harassing black people and arresting them just because they feel like it. Or arresting us cause the color of our skin. Dirty cops don’t belong to take care of our city when they are against us and not with us. I would love to see them serve and protect more than just harassing black people and thinking we are vulnerable and scared to speak out against the dirty things they do.

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