Police came looking for an 8-months-pregnant woman named Frances Tapps. Deputy Randy McClendon, in uniform, banged on the door and the window – hand on his gun – and told her to get out of her home! But her problems were just starting.
McClendon didn’t have eviction papers – and that’s not his job anyway! This is something that would be a local constable’s job, not that of a sheriff’s deputy. He wasn’t her landlord, and didn’t have the authority to evict her.
McClendon told her he was acting as a “private citizen,” despite being in his department vehicle and having his uniform on, and despite a CDC order banning evictions!
She recorded the incident, and he’s being investigated – but is still actively working as a Jefferson Parish deputy in Louisiana. This is bigger than one incident.
According to pediatricians, evictions can cause major adverse health effects to children. Black women like Frances are already at higher risk during pregnancy, but the officer didn’t care. At the core of the problem is a fundamental societal flaw.
Why do we allow policing to punish poverty? People shouldn’t be arrested or punished because they can’t pay rent. Housing is a human right! Policing is a systemic form of violence that only makes problems worse.