On Monday, The Times Picayune/New Orleans Advocate reported that the congressional office of Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) employed a former fellow officer on the Opelousas Police Department who had helped him lie to internal affairs to cover up the beating of a Black man.
"John Chautin, a former Opelousas patrolman, helped Higgins violently take the man — Andre 'Red' Richard — to the ground after Richard pulled up outside a house that Higgins, Chautin and other police officers were searching," reported Bryn Stole. "An internal affairs report found that Higgins and Chautin tried to cover up the incident by lying about it."
"The internal investigation in Opelousas later found that Higgins repeatedly grabbed Richard around the neck, struck him across the head and allegedly kicked him as he lay handcuffed," said the report. "Chautin, like Higgins, lied about the incident to Capt. Craig Thomas, who investigated after Richard filed a complaint. Chautin and Higgins both falsely accused Richard of battery, claiming Richard had grabbed Higgins before the cops took him down. That story unravelled after another police officer who witnessed the incident contradicted Chautin and Higgins. Higgins later admitted lying, acknowledging he struck Richard and apologizing for his actions."
"Higgins hired Chautin as a field representative for his congressional office in early February 2017, just over a month after Higgins, a Lafayette Republican, was sworn in to replace departing former U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany," said the report. "Chautin was paid $69,805 in 2019, records show."
Higgins previously sparked outrage in 2017 by calling for holy war against Islam in 2017, saying, “Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down. Hunt them, identity them, and kill them. Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.”
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