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Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams talks with the media announcing an unprecedented and sweeping legal action that his office waived all objections to new trials for 22 state prisoners convicted by split juries between the years 1974 and 2014 on the Orleans Parish Courthouse steps Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (Staff photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate) ORG XMIT: BAT2102261729402742

Since my name was mentioned in the Jan. 9 front page article entitled, "After year in office, DA says he has delivered on promises," I feel that I must respond.

On the morning of Thursday, April 1, 2021, I received a call from Angola Prison. The call was to inform me that a convicted felon, Michael Davis, was being released.

In response to my question as to how this could happen, I was told that the release had been arranged under the "new policies" of the newly elected Orleans Parish District Attorney, Jason Williams. D.A. Williams used the United States Supreme Court’s decision that nonunanimous jury verdicts were unconstitutional to release Michael Davis, a career criminal who participated in the armed robbery that resulted in the death of my son, New Orleans Police Department Officer Christopher Russell, on Aug. 4, 2002. D.A. Williams made this happen even though the Supreme Court’s decision was not complete. Your Supreme Court had not yet issued its ruling, yet D.A. Williams went ahead and released a man involved in my son's murder. 

The article further stated that I had not been notified by the District Attorney’s Office of the impending release. This is true; however, it was NOT stated that neither my son’s widow nor the superintendent of the NOPD, Shaun Ferguson, was notified. I, the mother of a murdered NOPD officer, had to personally call each of them with this shocking news. In addition, I also called the office of Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto because Michael Davis was provided with an apartment on the west bank of Jefferson Parish upon his release — not a residence in Orleans Parish, not a residence anywhere near the home of Jason Williams, but in Jefferson Parish.

To the residents of Orleans Parish, I offer my deepest condolences and prayers. You are being overrun by a violent criminal element who are being coddled by District Attorney Jason Williams. Your streets are running red with the blood of your families, including the blood of your children. 

DOROTHY TARDY

retired

Terrytown