Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Monday accepted charges of aggravated assault with a firearm and impersonating a peace officer against Kenneth Landrieu, Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s first cousin, in connection with a road-rage incident last month in the Lower Garden District.
Landrieu, the brother of former congressional candidate Gary Landrieu, carried the badge of a reserve deputy for Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman when, according to police, he got out of his 2004 Cadillac DeVille and threatened another driver at gunpoint at Sophie Wright Place.
The other driver claimed Landrieu had a six-pointed brass star pinned to the collar of his polo shirt and a black pistol in his hand. The police report claims he assumed a “two-handed shooting grip” as he approached the victim’s car and told him “he would either arrest or have the victim arrested.”
Landrieu, 52, claims he acted in self-defense following a rolling dispute down Magazine Street after a near-collision. He also disputes the police account that he held the gun double-fisted, saying the .25-caliber handgun he carried was too small for that kind of grip.
According to Gusman’s office, the reserve badge was purely honorary, with no law enforcement authority behind it.
Landrieu has said he believed the badge afforded him some kind of enforcement powers and that he had expected Cannizzaro’s office to drop the charge of impersonating a peace officer.
He appeared Monday afternoon in Magistrate Court but did not enter a plea in the case.
Landrieu is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 2 before Criminal District Court Judge Laurie White. He remains free on an $8,500 cash bond.