Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand has become notorious for pushing the boundaries of his law enforcement agency.
The latest move by Normand was to go after the Southern Baptist Vintage Church in Jefferson Parish because they apparently exceeded the city’s 60 decibel noise level, which is about the same noise level as a dishwasher.
But, Normand didn’t just give the church a slap on the wrist.
Normand actually issued a criminal summons for the executive director of the Baptist church and the rest of the church’s staff was threatened with a “physical arrest” if they dare use any microphones during their worship services, according to the lawsuit filed by the Liberty Institute.
After complaints from neighbors back in August, Normand’s sheriff’s office demanded that the church not use any amplification equipment or else they would be hit with a criminal summons and potentially arrested.
Of course, that didn’t stop what came next. Church officials said they followed the rule, but on Nov. 15, Normand marched into the church with multiple other officers and began inspecting the church’s sound equipment.
Church officials showed Normand and the officers that their microphone equipment was all unplugged. However, Normand issued a second summons to Pastor Matt Brichetto, claiming that the sound levels were about 60 decibels even without the microphone equipment not being turned on.
The first criminal summons was done by Normand’s sheriff’s office in front of the entire congregation and Brichetto said they even fingerprinted him in front of the church. Take a look:
Though the national media may be surprised by Normand’s actions as the Sheriff of Jefferson Parish, locals know this is just typical Normand, using the office as a way to punish those whom he disagrees with.
Take for instance what went down during the most recent gubernatorial election between Governor-elect John Bel Edwards and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA).
Normand went after a private investigator that Vitter hired to record public conversations that the Jefferson Parish Sheriff was having with elite Edwards supporters at a coffee shop, where he does his morning work.
The conversation between Normand and Edwards supporter John Cummings was out in the open in a public place of business. Yet, Normand saw the investigator who Vitter hired to conduct opposition research and went after the guy in a road chase down Metairie Road.
At the time, Scott McKay outlined what actually occurred and how Normand was entirely wrong on the fact that he claimed his conversation was private and therefore he was going to go after the opposition researcher for recording the conversation.
There have also been reports in the past of numerous occasions where Normand has made a point to shut down his political opponents through the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, sources have told the Hayride in the past.
Not mention, crime isn’t getting all that better in Jefferson Parish.
According to crime statistics between 2014 and 2015 for Jefferson Parish, crime has remained where it’s at for the most part, not seeming to get any better.
Just in October, there were 191 burglaries and 112 assaults in Jefferson Parish. Meanwhile, in October of 2014, burglaries were at 159 and there were 93 assaults, showing a slight rise in crime actually. Robberies and thefts were also up in October compared to 2014’s crime levels.