Orleans Parish Courts Go Virtual As Sheriff Pulls Deputies For Jail Security

Orleans Parish courts are being forced to go virtual again due to a lack of security. Orleans Parish Sheriff Susan Hutson has pulled all deputies who were stationed at the courthouse and sent them to help reinforce security at the Orleans Justice Center jail.

From WVUE:

Orleans Parish Sheriff Susan Hutson informed criminal justice stakeholders Sunday (June 12) that she was recalling deputies from courthouse duty early this week to restore security and order within the Orleans Justice Center jail, multiple law enforcement sources told Fox 8.

The move forces Criminal District Court judges to postpone trials and reschedule any hearings that cannot be held virtually, for at least the first three days of the week, according to sources familiar with the declaration.

Prosecutors within District Attorney Jason Williams’ office were warned that the physical court closure could potentially last two weeks. A statement released by Criminal District Court’s Chief Judge Robin Pittman after the news first was reported by Fox 8 also referenced a two-week absence of deputies.

“Criminal District Court was shocked by the news received this evening from Sheriff Susan Hutson that deputies would be removed from the courthouse, leaving the court with no security for approximately two weeks,” Judicial Administrator Rob Kazik wrote in the statement. “We are hoping for a quicker resolution to this matter.”

This is yet another symptom of how dysfunctional New Orleans is on the law and order front. Huston, who was just recently elected sheriff last year, was elected on a soft on crime platform.

The deputies are expected to be away from the courthouse for at least two weeks. The need to reinforce the Orleans Parish jail comes as violence erupted at the facility this weekend.

Either way, this decision to pull courthouse security and force the courts to go virtual does not provide a vote of confidence on law and order matters in New Orleans.

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