Sheriff’s deputy suspended for comment on social media

Staff Report

A deputy from the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office was suspended without pay for a remark he made on social media, according to Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi.

The comment came in a post that asked people to poorly explain what they do for a living.

“I violate a civilian’s ability to breathe,” said the response from James Lewis, a longtime deputy for IPSO.

He remained on a five-day suspension as of Tuesday, Sept. 28.

Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said he is “weighing out other options” on how to handle the disciplinary action against a deputy for his comment on social media.

Stassi said he is “weighing out other options” on how to handle the disciplinary action.

He said Lewis showed poor judgment when he posted the remark.

“He understands that perception is reality to some people, and he thought it was funny… maybe sarcasm … but in this environment there’s no room for that, especially these days,” Stassi said. “We live in a time when we need to do the right thing all of the time and not just part of the time.”

Stassi said Lewis expressed remorse for his comments and did not mean them in a serious manner.

“He has apologized to all of his coworkers and deeply regrets what he did,” the sheriff said.

Stassi emphasized that the comments do not reflect his view or that of the department.

“His views don’t reflect how I feel or that of the vast majority of the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office. I respect both sides of the “50-50” in Iberville Parish and I reach out to both sides, and I look at all residents simply as “the people of Iberville Parish, and not as black or white,” he said. “They’re all equal in my eyes.”