A storm of controversy is brewing in Lincoln Parish, Louisiana, after a police officer killed a deaf electrical engineer this past week in broad daylight outside Simsboro High School.
The man, Joshua Cloud, was a graduate of the University of Alabama’s School of Engineering. By all accounts, he was a happy, healthy, respectful, generous and kind human being. But by the official police statements, he shot at a police officer and was gunned down as a result. The only problem with the official story is that it does not match up with an eye witness accounts of the shooting.
One witness is calling Cloud’s death an act of “murder.” Quintin Crowe is a school security guard at Simsboro High. He said he was taking a smoke break when he heard a police taser being deployed. Crowe said he grabbed his camera and began recording. He observed a white male wrestling and fighting with an officer.
The man began asking the officer, shouting in fear, “What did I do?” Crowe said the officer deployed a K9 police dog on the man and said the man “busted a move” and he believed began to run in the opposite direction. It was at that instant that the shots rang out and Crowe said he saw the man fall, laying lifeless on the ground. Here’s Crowe’s first-hand account of what he saw:
Even though Crowe never once mentioned seeing the man with a gun, the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Department issued the following statement, saying not only did Cloud have a gun, but he shot the deputy first!
“Today, August 29th, one of our Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Deputies conducted a traffic stop in Simsboro, LA. During
the course of the stop the suspect, a white male believed to be from the State of Tennessee, became non-compliant and
combative. The suspect, produced a weapon and fired striking out Deputy in his duty vest. Our Deputy returned fire on the suspect. The suspect was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene. This incident occurred in very close proximity to the Simsboro School. Out of caution, the school
was placed on temporary lock down until the scene was secured. As is standard operating procedure for this department
the Louisiana State Police will be the agency investigating this incident. Any inquiries into this incident should be directed to the
PIO for the Louisiana State Police, or the Louisiana State Police, Bureau of Investigations, Monroe, LA, field office.
Names have been withheld, pending the notification of next of kin. I would like to offer thanks to the outpouring of
appreciation and concern that this office has received from the public and surrounding jurisdictions.”
— Sheriff Mike Stone
Sheriff Stone’s statements stand in stark contrast to the eyewitness account, as well as the character witness testimony of dozens of Cloud’s friends—many of whom now believe the police are covering up a murder.
As a result, Cloud’s friends are now accusing the sheriff’s deputy, Officer Kyle Luker, of killing Cloud and creating the narrative he shot the engineer in self-defense. They are saying Cloud was likely shot for not complying with Luker’s commands, something he could not possibly have heard as he is legally deaf.
Fueling their suspicions is Crowe’s own admission that police took his phone and deleted the video of the incident. Even though Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Department detectives told him they are in possession of his cell phone recording and will use it as evidence, none of Cloud’s friends are accepting that conclusion. They are saying the police department and Sheriff Stone are engaged in an active cover-up of an officer-involved shooting that looks more like a murder.
Zach Cooley, formerly with the US Navy, commented on the Sheriff’s department page, “You obviously have no clue who he murdered.” Another friend, Chris Schneider, responded with what one could describe as seething anger. He wrote:
“Where’s the video evidence! The victim was a solid human being with respect, dignity, and poise. A total law abiding American citizen!”
He described the incident as possibly a mistake:
“Cops mess up, they’re people too, and like people they cover up things when they mess up unfortunately.”
Schneider pointed out how not all police can be trusted as TFTP has reported. In Baltimore, MD, several officers were implicated in planting evidence on a suspect. He drew the appropriate analogy:
“I guess everyone supporting this cop on here doesn’t see the hard evidence on the news around the US of cops planting drugs and weapons on innocent people and taking them to jail for a crime they never committed. OR a cop shooting an innocent man to death in front of his own daughter two feet away from him in a car?”
Cloud’s friend then openly accused the police department of lying and covering up the truth:
“There is a real story that isn’t being shared with the public, shame on you. I hope true honest and fair justice will be served here. You have hundreds of people around the country weighing [sic] in on this case that are close with this victim.”
Schneider then called on the police department and Sheriff Stone to reveal the truth and stop trying to protect their officer:
“hope you do the right thing for the right reason. Would be a shame to see a wonderful human being’s life get swept under the floor because a cop had no integrity and neither did a whole police force in a Louisiana community. YOU ARE BEING WATCHED AND ACCOUNTED FOR!!! And if you feel threatened by that then you’re in the wrong! Because at the end of the day when you take off that uniform you are just like me and everyone else in your communities! You are nothing special!”
Drew Glines, another of Cloud’s friends, is questioning the official police narrative as well. He wrote:
“Joshua Cloud was legally deaf….. and was one of the kindest, most sincere, genuine, selfless individuals I have had the opportunity to encounter. I am privileged to call him my friend. He would never have endangered someone’s life, police or otherwise, if he did not feel his life was in imminent danger. I eagerly await video and audio evidence of this encounter… bc this is not as cut and dry as, ‘bad guy shot cop, cop fired back’ …
When should we expect that more details will be released?”
The details the police should release immediately are the gun with its serial number, make and model, and more importantly, the video that Crowe took and police have deleted.