The gist: Mayor-President Josh Guillory, who waited days to express condolences to the family of the 31-year-old Black man killed in a spray of gunfire by Lafayette police officers on Aug. 21, will meet with the family Friday.
Carlos Harvin reached out to the family earlier this week. Attorney Ronald Haley of Lafayette, who represents Trayford Pellerin’s family, tells The Current that LCG’s chief of minority affairs requested the meeting on Guillory’s behalf. “We’re having a sit down Friday at 10,” Haley says. “There’s a press conference with the NAACP Friday at 9 o’clock [Harambee Event Center, 211 E. Willow St.] and then from there, the family and the legal team will meet with the mayor and the chief of police.” The meeting will take place at Guillory’s office, the attorney says.
Guillory acknowledged his response fell short. Four days of multiple protest events went by before the mayor-president, after meeting with local Black pastors, emerged to acknowledge the local family’s pain. “We can recognize this pain,” said a more conciliatory Guillory. “We can grieve for the family and still support law enforcement, and we are.” Last night, Guillory offered a moment of silent prayer for the anguished family and at one point stepped away from his seat to privately engage with one of Trayford’s Pellerin’s cousins, Jai Pellerin, who spoke at Tuesday’s open-mic session in council chambers.
The mayor-president’s initial response had been harsh, publicly stating the day after the shooting that Pellerin was “threatening the lives of the customers and workers inside.” While officers may have perceived Pellerin, who was shot while trying to enter a North Lafayette convenience store, to be a threat, there is no clear evidence he intended to harm those inside the store.
The family’s lawyer will reiterate his push for the release of body cam footage. Haley, who on Aug. 24 issued an extensive public records request to the Lafayette Police Department and Louisiana State Police (he says he’s yet to get a response), will again call for the release of police body cam and other footage and details from the night of the shooting. As a compromise in anticipation of push back, Haley says he may ask for still images captured from the multiple body cams and other security cameras at local businesses.
Guillory’s office declined to comment on the meeting. “I will not release any information pertaining to this out of respect for Mr. Trayford Pellerin and his family,” Guillory’s spokesman, Jamie Angelle, tells The Current. “This is not for the media or to gain attention.”