I was incredibly disappointed and enraged by Megan Wyatt’s article outlining the criminal history of Trayford Pellerin.

As a crime survivor and the coordinator of the Louisiana Survivors for Reform coalition, this unnecessary and degrading coverage of a shooting-death victim is the type of shaming our coalition exists to combat. A man was shot to death by police officers; he has been taken from his loved ones. Pellerin’s past involvement with the criminal justice system is not relevant and it most certainly does not justify the deadly use of force by Lafayette police.

The article furthers the over-criminalization of Black communities. This writing encourages racist stereotypes and blames the victim. It signals to survivors of crime, their families and the public that certain people are deserving of the violence and harm that is inflicted upon them.

For those of us grieving a loss or working to overcome the shame we have experienced as survivors, this type of news coverage is a painful reminder that we do not have the support we need to heal or move forward. LSR believes that the voices of every victim should be heard, and that the primary focus of reform should be supporting all impacted individuals and communities, investment in crime prevention strategies and transformative justice that is trauma-informed.

Clearly, we have more work to do.

KATIE HUNTER-LOWREY

crime survivor organizer

New Orleans


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