Reggie Hilts has been identified as the 31-year-old sergeant with the Abbeville City Marhsal’s office who cuffed and arrested Vermilion Parish teacher Deyshia Hargrave.
Hargrave, a Louisiana teacher, was arrested after speaking out during a school board meeting about the district superintendent’s pay raise. She was taken out of a school board meeting in handcuffs on Monday, January 8.
Since the incident, Hilts has not seen a change in his employment status. According to the New York Times, Hilts is a deputy city marshal but also works as a school resource officer in the Vermilion Parish School District. There is currently a petition online called I Stand With Deyshia Hargrave that calls for Hilts’ job.
“The security guard, Reggie Hilts, followed her and then pushed her to the ground and put handcuffs on her. She pleaded with the officer to relax and hear her out but he was NOT having it! What he did was wrong and it NEEDS to be addressed,” the petition reads.
In the video, Hargrave is seen being asked to leave multiple times before Hilts intervenes.
School Board President Anthony Fontana said that Hargrave was “interrupting the board meeting”, claiming that Hargrave would not allow such an action in her classroom.
“She wouldn’t allow that to happen in a classroom, and now she’s going to pull that stunt. A board member was getting ready to speak when she cut into him. That’s when the officer acted. I think he acted properly,” Fontana said.
The Abbeville Police Department said in a statement, “In response to the numerous requests for the teacher’s booking information, the Abbeville Police Department is cooperating as directed by law. The Abbeville Police Department did not arrest the teacher. Due to the location of her arrest and the arresting agency’s jurisdiction, which includes the city limits of Abbeville, she was booked in and bonded from the local police department.”
In a 5 to 3 vote, the Vermilion Parish school board passed the vote to increase Superintendent Jerome Puyau’s salary, which is what Hargrave was protesting.
Hargrave is reportedly seeking legal advice at this time.