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Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023

Mayor’s Notebook


Coping with officer-involved shooting; city could get rail service

Shreveport Mayor Tom Arceneaux called the body cam footage of an officer-involved shooting “heartbreaking” after the video was released by Louisiana State Police on Feb. 16.

“It was hard for me to watch,” Arceneaux said at a news conference. “It may have been hard for you to watch. It was excruciating for the family to watch. I’m sure it was excruciating for the family to watch.”

Police were called to a domestic disturbance late Feb. 3 at the Villa Norte Apartment Complex in the 1600 block of Fullerton Street, according to police reports. There they made contact with Alonzo Bagley, who jumped a balcony and fled the scene.

Officer Alexander Tyler chased Bagley. Tyler rounded a corner of the building and fired one shot, striking Bailey in the chest. Tyler started life-saving measures on the scene, but Bailey died at the hospital.

Tyler was arrested on Feb. 16 on a charge of negligent homicide, according to an LSP news release.

“Officer Alexander Tyler has been charged with negligent homicide and surrendered for arrest without incident,” Arceneaux said. “Officer Tyler has been placed on administrative leave pending the conclusion of the investigative process.”

Bagley’s family has filed a federal wrongful-death lawsuit against Tyler. Ronald Haley, an attorney for the Bagley family, called on the SPD to release Tyler’s disciplinary records and his termination from the police force.

At his news conference, Arceneaux called for healing in the city.

“We should surround the family with our love, support and prayers,” he said.

All aboard

Arceneaux is optimistic about a potential joint venture that could be a boon to several cities across north Louisiana and in Mississippi.

The Shreveport City Council has heard the first reading of a cooperative agreement between Shreveport, Ruston, Monroe and Vicksburg, Miss., to apply for a federal grant to establish terminals for passenger rail service between Dallas and Atlanta.

“This is infrastructure money that Congress has appropriated,” he said of the grant. Arceneaux has been working with Monroe Mayor Friday Ellis, who will manage the grant. The four cities share equally in the costs of preparing the application due March 7.

“I am very excited about this grant,” Arceneaux said. “We think we have an excellent chance to get it.”

The mayor said they are also working with Kansas City Southern and Canadian Pacific on the project. Those two companies are scheduled to merge, and which one the cities ultimately work with will depend on the timing of that merger and the passenger rail project, Arceneaux added.

Shreveport’s potential passenger rail terminal would be in the old Sun Furniture Building on Texas Avenue in downtown Shreveport.

That building is being renovated for a Spor- Tran intermodal facility.

“You’ll be able to come in on the train,” Arceneaux said. “You can catch any kind of public transportation. You can go to the airport. You can get on a Greyhound bus. You can do any of those different things. Every mode of transportation, including private transportation, will be available from that site.

It’s a really cool deal, and we are very excited about that.”

Arceneaux said passenger rail service would have several potential benefits. One of those could be workforce development, as people in east Texas would have an option for commuting to Shreveport. Another could be more recreational.

“There are a lot of people in Shreveport who would love to have passenger rail service,” Arceneaux said. “Depending on the schedule, if you had a day trip to Monroe or Ruston, you could choose to drive or to take the rail.”

And success with the east-west corridor could open other possibilities.

“Once we get that, we can think about running south as well,” the mayor said. “Rail traffic may be important. There is no effective air traffic between Shreveport and Baton Rouge or Shreveport and New Orleans. But we’re not as far along on that leg as we are on the east-west route.”

The Shreveport City Council is scheduled to vote on the matter at its meeting on Feb. 28.


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