Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman addressed media for the first time over that shocking video showing O.P.P. inmates with contraband and guns.
“The actions taken in that video are unacceptable and despicable.”
Standing in front of the new parish prison still under construction, Sheriff Gusman explained why his memory of four year old videos showing inmates carousing in and out of jail is vague, “I saw it on a very small screen. It wasn`t much. The video quality, it looks like it’s been greatly changed up. I don`t know what to say about that.”
Gusman says the video, locked for more than three years in a sheriff`s office safe, did not provide enough evidence to sustain a case, “There was no contraband found. We searched and stripped searched the inmates. We shook down the cells. Twice.”
He says charges were filed against two escaped inmates shown in a separate video living it up on Bourbon Street, “One individual being sentenced to five additional years and another being sentenced to an additional three plus years.”
Gusman said the shocking video released on Tuesday is a prime example of the sheriff`s office warnings falling on deaf ears, “I was ignored. Repeatedly. That video from 2009 revealed in graphic detail the devastating effect of crumbling, out dated jail buildings that are lacking in modern security measures.”
He blames mayor Mitch Landrieu`s administration for poor prison conditions and blocking solutions to fix problems, “The mayor chooses to waste time with Washington style politics and Archie Bunker rhetoric.”
Sheriff Gusman says he supports a federal consent decree for both the city and parish because it will make New Orleans a safer community, “That building is closed. That chapter is closed. We are never going to open it again.”
The sheriff also provided evidence of a warning letter to the mayor written two years ago, declaring future financial shortfalls, bankruptcy and an end of jail operations.