At a Glance
On December 27, 2018 the appeals court ordered the sheriff to produce receipts related to his employees' travel to North Dakota and search cameras for video footage taken during their time there.
The Center for Constitutional Rights filed a petition in Louisiana state court seeking the release of records relating to the St. Charles Sheriff's travel and communications regarding TigerSwan LLC and Energy Transfer Partners. The petition was necessary after the Center for Constitutional Rights received only minimal records from an earlier public records request.
The filing seeks to investigate larger connections among the Louisiana Parish Sheriff’s Office (SCPSO), Sheriff Greg Champagne, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), and Tigerswan LLC, in light of ETP’s proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline project in Louisiana. The proposed pipeline would span 162 miles between Lake Charles and St. James, passing through 11 parishes, and impacting 700 bodies of water, including in the Atchafalaya Basin. Tigerswan, LLC is listed as a “Silver Partner” on the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) website, which indicates that it has made financial contributions to the association, and when Champagne was president of the NSA he publicly endorsed the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. TigerSwan has been the subject of in-depth reporting and public criticism as a result of its controversial tactics, including deploying a highly militarized response to civilian protests, with one former military official denouncing such tactics as “extreme by all measures.”
In 2016, Champagne, then also serving as President of the NSA, traveled to North Dakota to observe the law enforcement response to protests against the DAPL. Champagne also dispatched SCPSO employees to travel—to the tune of nearly $36,000— to North Dakota to support the production of a pro-law enforcement video series called “Know the Truth.”