Man Dies After Incident in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison

What happened to Lamar Johnson? According to a change.org petition created by his mother something isn’t right about the death of her son. On May 26, 2015 Lamar was pulled over for having illegal tint in his vehicle in Baker while going to pick up his grandmother from dialysis. Lamar informed the officer that he had a warrant for a traffic violation in another parish. Lamar was subsequently arrested for the warrant. The arresting officer who isn’t named in the petition called his mother to let her know what was going on with her son. The arresting officer assured her that she had nothing to worry about, that Lamar would be ok. Linda Franks, Lamar’s mother told the officer “Lamar is a good man,” to which the officer responded, “I can tell.”

By Wednesday morning, Mrs. Frank said in her change.org petition she “was concerned about the fact that no progress had been made as far as moving him to the parish where the original traffic warrant was outstanding. I began making phone calls and reached out to a lawyer. Everyone, even Lamar himself, told me Lamar’s case was small potatoes. This only further concerned me considering no bail had been set yet and even the charges remained to be filed. As minor as everyone, including Lamar, was convinced his situation was, we remained in an inexplicable limbo.”

By Friday no bail had been set for Lamar, his mother became even more concerned. She got word after calling daily that he was being transferred to the parish that the infraction happened and thought that was a sign of things preparing to come to an end. On Monday she went to New Orleans expecting to be able to get her son, only to find out according to her change.org petition that he was never released to transfer from East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. She then called Parish prison and found out Lamar was in the hospital. Mrs. Frank was not allowed to see Lamar and was forced to prove to the warden that she was his mother. All she was able to find out is that he was in the trauma neurological care unit. According to the petition the warden told her that on Saturday Lamar acted out and was placed in isolation. That Lamar had tried to commit suicide.

When Lamar entered the hospital, they diagnosed his condition as a total brain injury, caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain according to Mrs. Frank. “While he maintained life in his brain stem initially, he was breathing only with the assistance of a ventilator. On Monday, June 8, he began to show signs of brain herniation. On June 10, at 1:17 P.M. my son, Lamar, was pronounced dead,” says Mrs. Franks’ account.

After reading Mrs. Franks account of what happened I’m left perplexed. What happened to this healthy young man while in parish prison for a traffic violation? To tell the family that he attempted to commit suicide makes absolutely no sense. The arresting officer came to the hospital to see Lamar and his mother and told her that he was in good spirits about everything because he was glad he would get to clear his name. Now he’s dead? I think that there is certainly some explanation due to the family. Where is the video footage from the prison? Where are the incident reports about what happened? Why is it two weeks after his death and his mother still doesn’t have answers.

With the climate of race relations and the data that is now surfacing about police brutality towards black men, I question why this story is just now seeing the light of day. If there is no foul play then questions should’ve been answered. No mother should ever have to put out a public petition to get answers when the death of her child happened due to events that happened while under the supervision of the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

Comments

  1. I want to thank you for this article. It raises awareness.

    1. avatar tywanna mcdowell says:

      I’m so sorry for your lost such a beautiful young man I can’t imagine your pain I have a son incarcerated now and this has me in tears feeling pain for u and scared for my child what kind of system is this killing all our young black men their lives are not valued anymore justice needs to be served.

    2. avatar Luis says:

      Im very sorry to hear about this story I will have the family of this man in my prayers. I have been in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison ive witnessed inmates get slapped by inmates for no reason what so ever. Ive witnessed physical and verbal abuse by the east baton rouge sheriffs office on inmates.This jail is hell. Liutenant Lamont and Liutenant Alice Pidgeon are what make this prison so corrupt maybe its not just them.

      1. avatar Luis says:

        Let me correct myself its inmates being slapped by the east baton rouge sherifs office for no reason that ive witnessed.

    3. avatar RighteousRanger says:

      This could be anyway of us or one of our children. This has to stop!!!!! Lets take back our streets and respect for life. Everything that happens in the dark…Will come to the light. So do the right thing.

      1. avatar mscee92@comcast.net says:

        Yes so true may the Lord strengthen his mom and I pray that whatever happened that it be revealed…

  2. avatar Yetta says:

    I’m sorry to here about your son Mrs.Franks I don’t know you or your son but hearing this story really bring back memory of how they really treat inmates. I was incarcerated there in 2007-2008 and I saw a lady passed away then, they don’t care. To them u are a inmate and that’s how you are treated. 2012 I was treated like a animal. I won’t go into detail right now but… if I could help u by speaking out about what I have experienced and saw that goes on behind those prison wall I would be more than happy to help you out…

    1. avatar Karanisha Butler says:

      I’m karanisha butler I was in EBR parish prison from 2007-2008 I was there when lady passed away I was on s-04 I had a seizure n one of the guards by the name of “Pigeon” kicked me in my head while I was in a seizure. Theydon’t treat people right at all.

    2. avatar Nedra says:

      My daughter was also incarcerated there for a withholding information charge and mistreated by guards as well as other inmates. Raped etc… They don’t care. My daughter hasn’t been convicted of anything. She is just being held until trial. These are human beings that this is happening to. They are innocent until proven guilty. Why they are treating humans like this is beyond me. But God!! My daughter has been in jail almost 4 years and the courts act like this is a game! This is someone’s life their playing with. My daughter will never be the same if she makes it out of that place alive. The prisoners get vexed daily by guards so they can have a reason to beat them or put them on lockdown. My daughter just got a transfer a week ago but not safe at other prison either because she was crowded by 7 woman of a gang there that broke her arm. I want my baby home and can’t get no help. This is my only daughter. We were basically robbed by the lawyer we hired he took our money and did nothing to help. They keep changing district attorney’s and delaying it everytime we go to court for the past 3 years it has been status meetings. I’ve never been through anything like this and don’t wish this on my worst enemy! I was thinking of writing the president! I’m tired I miss my baby her brothers miss her we want her home where she belongs. She doesn’t have the information they want and they are refusing to release her. And her bond is extremely high to where we can’t afford to pay it to get her out .

    3. avatar rachel says:

      I totally agree with Yetta. They treat u like animals! I’ve also spent a few days in there and it was a very horrible…I am very sorry this is a sad story I pray she finds closure in this story and someone please investigate how inmates or really treated in EBRPP..

  3. avatar marcus stallion says:

    Sad, my sympathy to his mother

    1. avatar BigSkip Anderson says:

      I’m sorry for the lost of your son who seem to be very family oriented. I’m from New Orleans where we witness the same type of situations..I served time in the Department of corrections, and was transferred to a work release facility in west baton rouge, port Allen. And at that facility, the officers would constantly threaten us with being transferred to east baton Rouge parish jail.i would tell them what’s so scary about that. And they would get other inmates from there to explain how the guards would beat you till you can’t move if they even thought you was looking at them with a attitude manner. And if you ask too many questions they would mace or taze you after telling you one time sit the f**k down and shut up. That type of treatment is not humane, or professional. But I had to then let him know I’m from New Orleans, so that’s not tough or scary talk to me, cause I seen and been through it all. But I’m sorry for the lost of this young brother. When I tag this, all I could do is think about the threats and Stories west baton Rouge officers told me. We need to speak out for those inmates that can’t. Remember, a silent voice can be a deadly voice.

  4. avatar Bro. Jay Vallot says:

    please call Bro. Jay of Reel Talk Media @ 337-967-6823, pertaining to this story…email reeltalk@cox.net

  5. avatar LB says:

    Those racist devils who call themselves police, that tax dollars pay them, killed him…that’s what happened. Supreme Court needs to pass legislation to protect African Americans for just being Black or being people of color. Civil rights of Black people are being violated. SC grants rights to everybody except People of Color. Change has got to come.

    1. avatar Steven Ford says:

      90% of the guards at ebrpp are black…..

    2. avatar WM says:

      So I guess the black police officers are racist too correct? Dont fool yourself into thinking that its just the civil rights of only black people that are violated. EVERYONE has rights. Black people are not excluded as you would suggest. If you cant stand up for EVERYONE’s rights then you shouldn’t stand up at all. Your racecard is invalid LB. Sad thing that happened to this man and his mother. Truely hope this gets exposed. Sorry for your loss. Peace be with you.

    3. avatar kevin says:

      Your an idiot.

    4. avatar Mjk says:

      What about the hundreds killed out on the streets by other black men…what about their civil rights? Don’t their lives matter?

    5. avatar Joe says:

      Most of the ebr prison officers are black…. but they still treat u like shit… I would rather do time at angola than ebr if I had to… but I kno from actually wrking at Dixon Correctional Hunts and Angola… but I also beEn incarcerated at ebr to for traffic violations…

    6. avatar mona says:

      It’s time people wake up its not only black people getting treated badly in EBR my son is white and was treated horribly in there!! It’s not always about color!!

    7. avatar Irene says:

      Lb you’ll so true then they tell you, you have no rights.. not even privacy at your own home also..

  6. avatar jersey says:

    “With the climate of race relations and the data that is now surfacing about police brutality towards black men, I question why this story is just now seeing the light of day.”

    You lost me right there. This was a well written article, then you had to come out and play the race card and blame everything on race. How tragic, just another ignorant black man who has no clue.

    1. avatar Mrs. Patricia says:

      Do you hear or read about a person of another race beening mishandled or dead while in police custody? NO!

    2. avatar Vero says:

      “How tragic, just another ignorant black man who has no clue.”

      And that’s where you’ve lost me. Don’t pull the race card, but you pulled the race card. Asshat.

    3. avatar Christina says:

      How is that ignorant to state facts shown on daily news. It’s ignorant to point out truth and error on blacks but not whites. Their is a war on blacks period and your ignorant cause your blind folds are on. A typical white person to weak to accept the fact that whites aren’t as civil as they want people to belive to actually have to consider your people animals for the ruthless hateful crimes they commit. Your a very ignorant person to write this. I guess white aren’t raise with the notion “if you don’t have anything nice or intelligent to say,don’t say anything at all”.

    4. avatar Chynadoll says:

      Do you think that this kind of thing would have happened to a white man? The fact is he was African American, a BLACK MAN. The comment has relevance because all of the drama going on in the news with young black men being killed by cops even in the street with cameras on them. So please don’t act like he played the race card with the comment he made, because at the end of the day race is still relevant

    5. avatar ebony says:

      then which card should be played??

    6. avatar Ashley says:

      And you didn’t make a racial statement in response. Your ignorance is just as pronounced Jersey.

  7. avatar kesia hunt says:

    Right, they been handling people badly in east baton rouge parish prison, even the are being treated wrong. I’m glad that it’s getting out now.

  8. avatar chimere myles says:

    I pray the family get answers and the crooked justice system get what they deserve.

  9. avatar Dorothy Washington says:

    I’m so sorry about the loss of your son ms. Frank, my heart is heavy and my mind is perplexed of this matter, some one knows what happened to your son and I pray to God that they have no peace until they come forth with the answers you’ve been seeking far too long now in Jesus Name Amen. From mother to mother you’re in my heart and prayers

    1. avatar B the truth says:

      Dorothy Washington your so right!! and me i have been n EBRP and i wouldn’t let them look over my dog batter yet a person im so so sorry for ur loss u can never get ur baby back but u can fight for justice can be served in u can try to start living again ur son mrs frank that parish had every thing to do with ur baby being killed because when they bet are ass they put us on lock down so we cant call family and when u are on lock down phone calls are on Tuesdays and Saturdays and u get 5s then they cut the hold phone off why on the phone with family so yes if it was not for the police that locked ur baby up for something so petty cost him his life im crying writing this my im pary for u and ur family ur baby he’s good now its us im really worried about because i say that to say this ones u put it and his hands don’t question it and god calls u home sounds sad but ur great because ppl he’s on his way anyday now we the ones alive got to get where he at just look how there carrying on its sad when u talk talk LOUD

  10. avatar len says:

    I was locked up with lamar …he ant try to kill his self he just wanted to get his warrents in kenner cleared to get home to his grandmother….he was a good humble person and east baton rouge jail is the devils playgroud…we need justice!!

  11. avatar Tbear says:

    Well written! I experience parish prison for a first n last time. They have no remorse for how they treat you or speak to you. To be honest im a aferican american and back there most of the guards are aferican Americans and dey treat there own color like shit so I wouldn’t play the race card in this situation. I’m so sorry to hear bout your son and yes as a mother its only rite you get answers. I’ll keep you in prayers ms.frank BC some needs to bring out the evil behind the walls of parish prinson …..

  12. avatar pam says:

    This is very disturbing. Answers should be given and an investigation should have already taken place.

  13. avatar veronica says:

    My son was arrested in batonrouge and we myself an his father got there at midnight an sat there until 600 am the police told me they couldn’t find him i.n the computer he was lost (so i got the state police involed them )they found him an booked him an we bailed him out but the booking officer wanted to know why he had so much money on him asked if he sold drug he said no im a truck driver an make more then you in two months

  14. avatar Kevin says:

    Sad story. Prayers for the family.
    Bad taste for the writer to hint it is a white on black hate crime that is behind the story.
    It’s writer like you that end up causing conflict between the races. It amazing how the media over looks black on black killings and black on white killings but feasts on white on black crime.
    Despicable!

  15. avatar Vonda Jones says:

    God never sleeps He knows exactly what happened and in His own timing He will reveal it to you , my prayers are with you and your family and believe me all is well !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. My condolences to the family of Lamar Johnson.His death is definitely something that should be further investigated.I pray for the day you can begin to have closure

  17. avatar Nazie says:

    My heart goes out to his mother & family & friends.. I hope they find answers soon & I pray justice gets served for I believe he was a innocent man & someone needs to be held accountable for his sudden death..

  18. avatar Cynthia R says:

    I’d like to know when we can find an alternative for jailing citizens over vehicle violations. Jail should be for true criminals. Shame on our police and legal systems. It’s a true waste of resources and in this case, a Life!

  19. avatar Ieesha says:

    JUSTICE FOR LAMAR

  20. avatar Kandace martinez says:

    My brother was in this same prison I do believe if we would not have got him out when we did something would have happened to him. One day he would have a Bond next day he wouldn’t. They said he needed to be evaluated by a Psychologist Before being released…. He also had a knot on his head and swelling in his neck. And he was white never been in trouble in his life so I believe it’s just the way they treat people in there

  21. avatar Kiki says:

    Sorry for your loss Mrs.Franks, I was there in2012 and it’s hard for the women too. It’s not just the white ones it’s the blacks ones too. It’s the Lt. on down. I seen it with on eyes, how bad they treat them women in there.

  22. avatar jloverichelle says:

    It’s very very sad and heart breaking to hear of this but this isn’t the last !! When will they do sumthing about this injustice if you don’t have money for the best lawyer cops get away with murder all day long I have numerous family members housed at east Baton Rouge parish prison my god just want he thought bring tears to my eyes !! I’m so sorry for this mother to loose her child like this and no answer at all but you know what someone will answer to the most highest judge rulers of all rulers king of all kings lord of all lords Jehovah God !!

  23. avatar Jude mondt says:

    I’m white and I was beaten by the guards on several occasions when I was young and dumb and in trouble. One time all I did was ask another inmate to pass me the salt at chow and a black guard hit me in the face. When I stood up from the table and looked at him he hit me again. Was it racism? Or abuse of power? They both are wrong and they both happen often to everyone regardless of color.

  24. avatar Savannah says:

    My deepest sympathies to the family and especially to Mrs.Franks.Your son shouldn’t have had to deal with all that.My now ex boyfriend was incarcerated there 7 month’s ago and it’s horrible how they treat them inmates there.he’s been,released since then but what happened to your sweet baby boy WAS UNCALLED FOR AND SHOULD BE DEALT WITH.THOSE BASTARDS AND SORRY EXCUSE PRISON GUARDS DONT NEED THEIR JOBS! I’d be suing the dog piss outta them for a wrongful death and purgory.that’s bs about how they “claim he tried to commit suicide” yet he was pulled over for stupid ass illegal tint and he had a warrant big deal if it ain’t nothing major like he killed somebody then let that nonsense go but to say that he had trauma and was rushed to the hospital oh boy I feel sorry for not only the warden but everyone of them sorry ass cops there cuz I SMELL A MILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT IF NOT MORE PLUS A LIFE WAS TAKEN.YALL ALL IN FOR A RUDE AWAKENING.GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR SOULS!

  25. avatar GLENICE WILLIAMS says:

    where is her help??where are the 100 BLACK MEN?,,WHERE IS THE BATON ROUGE CHAPTER OF THE NAACP?

  26. avatar Rosena says:

    I am so sorry to hear that your son is dead and you are seeking answers. As a mother, I can only imagine what you are going through. I hope you find answers. Praying for you and your family.

  27. avatar Monet' says:

    My deepest condolences to you and your family. So sorry you have to go through this sinceless tragedy.. Praying for /with You that you find the answers you’re looking for. God bless.

  28. avatar Mrs Paquita Cook Anderson says:

    I AM SO VERY SORRY THIS HAS HAPPENED TO YA SON MRS FRANKS. I CANT IMAGINE EVER GOING THROUGH ANY OF THIS AS A MOTHER. I ALONG WITH MY CHURCH FAMILY WILL KEEP YA FAMILY IN OUR DEEPEST PRAYERS AND IVE ADDED U TO OUR PRAYER LIST. I’M SENDING MY LOVE AND WARM HUGS YA WAY. AGAIN IM IN TEARS AS I READ THIS AND YES I WILL MOST DEFINITELY SIGN THIS PETITION. YA STORY NEEDS TO BE HEARD AND AIRED. LOVE U MY SISTER. SENDING MAD LOVE FROM DULUTH GA

  29. […] racial issues are what we are discussing at the water cooler. When situations like Victor White and Lamar Johnson happen in our state and the media skates over it because they don’t want a black uprising. In my […]

  30. […] Lamar Johnson died as a result of allegedly hanging himself in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. His story has never been told by mainstream media in Baton Rouge. He was swept under the rug. I asked the […]

  31. […] ignored mentioning Lamar Johnson’s name. He and his office have said nothing about the death of Lamar Johnson as a result of alleged hanging in parish prison in late May. Yet now he wants to create another […]

  32. […] Over the past few months, it was The Rouge Collection that told Baton Rouge about Lamar Johnson. A young 28 year old black man that allegedly hung himself in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. We broke his story before the nation ever began to “Say Her Name” – her name being Sandra Bland. The same situation that happened with Sandra Bland is what happened with Lamar Johnson. To this day, The Advocate, WAFB, WBRZ, none of them touched his story. There was no investigation into his death. Yet over 40,000 people read the initial article written about Lamar Johnson. […]

  33. […] prime example of Baton Rouge’s sellout culture is Lamar Johnson, no black leaders in Baton Rouge stepped up to move the issue of his death in parish p… have done nothing to report his death. Why? Because the black power structure of Baton Rouge is […]