Will the real John Richmond please stand up

By J. R. “Randy” Stelly

During his campaign for Parish President, John Richmond posted a video where he tearfully reminisced about his father’s advice, which was “First thing you do, put all your faith and trust in Jesus Christ that He’s going to give you the power, even when you don’t think they need it or deserve it, to love the people you come into contact with; and He’s going to give you the strength to teach; and He’s going to give you the humbleness to learn.” In the video, Richmond says that he doesn’t know that he’s ever heard it put any better, and I agree. Richmond goes on to promise anyone listening that “that’s what I do every day.”

At the time that video was released, I was reminded of the movie Elmer Gantry about the smooth-talking traveling salesmen who convinces a female lay preacher to make him an indispensable part of her roadshow. Just as in the movie, Mr. Richmond was using Christian references in his sales pitch to the voters of Natchitoches Parish and a lot of people fell for it including many of our Black religious leaders who delivered on the majority of the African-American votes cast last year.

Fast forward to May 15th when John Richmond, now Parish President, was involved in an altercation where he bum-rushed Derrion Shields, one of his employees that was being accosted by another employee, Brad Haigler. If you’ve watched the video of the fight, which was recently leaked on Facebook, I ask you, did you see any hint of love or humbleness emanating from John Richmond? Did you see any sense of regret or remorse on Mr. Richmond’s face? Did you feel that Mr. Richmond was taking ownership of his lapse in his good Christian morals?

We initially learned about this incident, not because Mr. Richmond decided to seek forgiveness for his involvement in the altercation but because he filed an incident report with police wherein he alleged that Mr. Shields was the aggressor and that he was merely defending himself. Had the video not been leaked, many of us might have been inclined to believe that or any one of the many other “alternative truths” that were being put out on the street. Thanks to the video evidence, Mr. Richmond and Mr. Haigler have been charged with Simple Battery.

More than likely, Mr. Richmond will get off with nothing more than a mere slap on the wrist for his involvement in the altercation. After all, the charge is only for a misdemeanor, which will not result in his removal from office.

On June 8th, Mr. Richmond spoke during a 100 Black Men event where he stood on the steps of the courthouse and once again turned on the charm by proclaiming to the people of Natchitoches that we can all make a difference. He is right. We, the people, need to demand that Mr. Richmond resign. As Louisianans, we are accustomed to our politicians lying to us but we cannot tolerate violence. Just as with the protesters fighting for equality and justice for all across the world today, we cannot rest until John Richmond is no longer a representative for what Good Government looks like in Natchitoches Parish.

The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.  If you have an article or story of interest for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to NPJNatLa@gmail.com.

62 thoughts on “Will the real John Richmond please stand up

  1. John should be relieved of his position…If he can’t handle an employee, how will he handle people in the parish who disagree with him…He’s acting like an idiot! He was only elected by his “buddies” anyhow…Get rid of him NOW!! We don’t need another fool in parish government

  2. Pamela Elaine Lockridge
    JUNE 27, 2020 AT 12:12 AM

    Why do people put hands on each other to harm? It’s called a HATE CRIME. . .

    We teach children not to put hands on each other because it leads to injury mentally and physically. I am concerned for trauma the victim had to endure because of the victim being both bum rushed and beaten in the head—by those in power. I am also concerned about the long lasting emotional damage this will cause him.

    We reap what we sow even when we are forgiven. Justice is not the same as forgiveness. Forgiveness is eternal command of God; justice comes by man’s law. Assault is breaking man’s law; so is lying on a police report.

    Stay real! Stay well!✝️💕💟

  3. Does anyone know who or how the video got “leaked?” Was this part of police evidence? Did someone in the dept leak it?

    • The good Lord says there is nothing hidden that he won’t reveal. God is bringing down and shaking up. And whatever is built on sinking sand. . . and not found in Him is hopeless.✝️

  4. I have always believed that such as their history of arrests, of non-payment of loans, and any other things that would give us a really good way to assess the character of the individual. We want them all to be of good moral character. I can’t tell from the video exactly what happened and why it happened, but it is obvious that our esteemed (tongue in cheek here) did not even come close to handling it in the proper way. He is a business owner and the Parish President, he should know how to quickly calm the incident in his restaurant. He didn’t, he went Rambo on the guy and it didn’t give me much faith that he could handle any problems that boiled over in one of the parish department. When he filled out a false report, it didn’t give me much confidence that there is much honesty in his dealings with others. Politicians must have honesty, and we must be sure that that they are honest before we elect them into office.

    Then he still has not answered any questions I had on the way the two streets were chosen for the large donation by the Waterways Commission, of which Mr. Rhodes is chairman. This looks like a back room deal to me with something good coming to Rhodes Property Development. Is there a rat in the dealings or just a dead skunk on the side of the road.

    • The remedy at this point is to believe he will resign. If he had any concern for his victim, he will. This will show him to be the humble man he says he is and his guiltily confession will be representative of keeping good favor with the voters. If he steps down now, this will open the door for voters to trust him in another election in the future—after he has matured and learned from his errors against humanity—which mimics and smells of our current national environment.

  5. Well I say his true colors shined bright I mean it was bound to collapse you cant do bad and expect good they are stuck up snobs who think they are better than everyone but his wife is a homewrecker and they googled how to start a resturant they are gettting what they deserve and its a shame that who was chose to represent Natchitoches haha what a joke

  6. The so called “victim” was asked to leave several times for almost an hour before the video was started. He stayed, and kept mouthing off, wouldn’t leave the premises. All I see is a restaurant owner who asked someone to leave who didn’t want to leave, so he caused a scene. I think the young lady clearly said “you put your hands on his neck” while pointing to Mr. Richmond’s neck, and talking to the employee who was asked to leave. This was “in the heat of the moment” shall we say…so, why would this young lady lie?? She also very clearly states to the police there is an unruly employee because he had been being unruly way before the video starts. Again, why would this young lady lie? Looks like Mr. Richmond did nothing but defend himself and his business to me. He very clearly states also before the video ends, to not touch anything and leave it all like it is for the police to see. That doesn’t sound like a man trying to “cover up” anything to me. This is nothing more than a political hit job, and a poor excuse for one at that.

    • What is fair is that John Richmond or his son should have called the police immediately if the young man refused to leave. They attacked that young man and lied about it. That young man is just as important to me as a human as John Richmond and his son!

    • You seem to know more then the police and anyone else were you there at the time? And did you view a different video then everyone else?

    • What video did you watch? That young lady whom I was told is his stepson wife was as confused as they come. She was saying to the Victim ( Me. Shields) he put then she said you put” Once again what video did you watch? I’d like to see it. Is there another video? I can’t speculate on what happen around that corner but when they stepped back into the cameras angle it wasn’t
      long Richmond had his hand around that man necks. An Brad was readying himself for a fight. If the victim was being so violent an threatening to them why wait to call the police? Did you hear what the black guy said at the end? Yall could’ve killed him. Richmond is the owner an he knows exactly where the cameras are in his restaurant an he said what he thought would save him. He needs to Resign!!! We DO NOT NEED A POLITICIAN LIKE HIM. Maybe he can stick to managing restaurants not that he does that so well. Maybe you can take Mr. Shields spot.

  7. I do not know any of the people involved. Seems it just another perfect example of “Don’t listen to what they say, watch what they do”. Deeds always speak louder than words.

    • Maybe John should have considered that before he hired the man. Apparently the employee has an anger problem. #ambulancechaser

      • Maybe John and his step child should learn how to treat people! I know the kid and he doesn’t just get that upset over nothing!

      • I worked with John richmond and Brad haigler for 3 years and I mean this with everything in me. You do not know what ur talking about. A myriad of workers have came into that restaurant and they were verbally and emotionally abused by brad and other managers. This video is just a spoke on the wheel of how brad haigler and John Richmond treats people that they believe they don’t have to kiss ass to!!!!!!!!! One manager I will leave anonymous, called a black server a “b*tch as* nigg*r” and u know what brad did? He said the manager had a drug problem and he apologized for him! No write up, no repercussions! They just made up an excuse and acted like it didn’t happen! This is FAX! You know nothing! John Richmond should step down NOW!

  8. Sounds like sour grapes to me… some people just don’t want to accept the results of the election 😭😭

  9. Patricia Givens they were out of camera view for one frame! Check it out frame by frame! The young man was trying to retrieve his belongings! Check the body language of John Richmond’s son in law! How he removed his apron and attack the young man while John Richmond was holding the young man by the neck! John Richmond lied on the police report! The lady on the phone misrepresented on the phone what was happening! Thank God for that video!

    • See what I mean….and you’re actually a “reporter?”…. that’s his step son. Please for the love of God get your facts straight Randy Stelly…but yet you expect people to believe what you say and report 🤦🏼‍♀️😂

      • The video speaks for everything John and his step son was out of order…both John and his step son charges could be upgraded…also John lied on police statement…John needs to step down his behavior is not fix to be Parish President it is what it is his lie and behavior got exposed…

          • What do you care about Natchitoches City Council, Patricia Givens? You live in Provencal, don’t you? Last I checked they have their own problems. Then again so does Robeline, where local trucking company employees and teenagers can speed through town and not get stopped. Bet there is some lining of pockets going on there 😉 Point is, it’s all about who you are kin to or who you know in small towns and villages. Just saying

        • Exactly! Thank GOD for cameras! He needs ro be removed. How can you make decisions for a whole parish an act like this when you’re upset with an employee? We don’t want a leader such as he.

    • Video is typically 24-30 frames per second. The implication that they were off camera for 1/30th of a second is clearly false….

  10. No one called for Sylvia Morrow to be removed. And SHE WAS CONVICTED. At least wait for the investigation.

    • I have thought she should be removed for a long time. Unfortunately, I don’t live inside the city limits, so there is not much I can do. I do believe that anyone convicted of shoplifting should not be allowed to even run for public office. Why aren’t there rules against this? It makes it pretty easy for people convicted of a crime to be elected mayor of this fair town. Do something about it in a list of qualifications for various offices. ”NO CONVICTIONS OF ANY CRIME”. Town folks should be up in arms about it instead of letting it go on and on. Something needs to be done before City Council is filled with Sylvia Morrow types. Think about that and what would go on then. It’s your town and you allow this.

      By the way, Parish should do the same thing about who can run for public office. This should be added to a list of qualifications for any public office. I don’t think we have a Sylvia in office right now in the city, but we do know that there is someone with a temper and a problem with working with others. Maybe this would help clean up the mess that we have created. Keep the wrong people out of office.

  11. hell half of you are hiding behind fake names,if you believe so strongly then give your real name
    because you are no better then anyone else.

    • You seem kind of obsessed about people using their real names. If you would lead by example and use your full name maybe they would..

  12. this happened at a business that he owns and we all have lost our cool
    before once or twice,now if he did this at a council meeting then I could see
    an issue…most of you want to cause drama.

  13. Consider the source…they just keep on and on because he won the election 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 #dirtypoliticsatwork

  14. It’s sad when things like this happen. No matter who you are are what you do professionally..
    We all make mistakes in life.
    Thank God no one was hurt. He who is without sin “ Let him throw the first stone”
    We need to forgive an be one people together!

  15. As a Natchitoches native, but a long time (unfortunately) non-resident, I try to keep up with what’s happening in Natchitoches via the Natchitoches Parish Journal (NPJ). I saw the video of the John Richmond altercation on the NPJ and from what I saw, the comments so far are based – as many are – on an INCOMPLETE video and the current trend to jump to conclusions. It seemed to me that the actions of Mr. Richmond and the victim began in another room out of the view of the camera. So, what happened in that room, what was said, and by whom could have an impact on the events that the camera caught. This situation, and many others like it, remind me of an old military saying, supposedly by a General Officer that goes: I’ve already made up mind; don’t confuse me with facts.” Maybe we ought to wait until the full story (facts) is known before making accusations, condemnations, or even accolades. Thanks for listening.

    • I got my ear to the streets and have talked to deedee shields, Brad haigler started screaming at him and cursing like he always does and finally mr shields had enough! Brad started it like he always does! I worked with brad, I knew he started it before the video even came out! He’s a PARASITE L. If u don’t know these people do not speak on their behalf they will have you looking STUPID.That’s why u only get a cut of the video cause they’re hiding it! I swear you people speak on things that u do not know!

  16. This is just ugly personified. Shame on the author for writing this piece, just wanting to stir up trouble. You seem to forget these two guys were arguing in his kitchen at his restaurant. There were told to get out. That being said it would seem like then they were trespassing. Who hasn’t lost their temper at times. Sounds like someone wants to get back at him for winning the election! Shame on you, pot stirrer! John is a good person!

    • Gee Gee, John Richmond is a carpetbagger who bamboozle and hoodwinked the people of Natchitoches! He had no business putting his hands violently on that man period!

      • So what your saying is your Superman with X-ray vision . I watch the video and what’s to say he didn’t head butt or take a poke at the man behind that partition. I don’t know you personally but your investigative journalism is sorry at best . Thank God your not investigating a murder scene . From reading some of your other article’s I would venture to say your either racist or have some sort of financial gain to have this man removed from office .🤔 I would highly criticize your character.

        • Ben you first speculate about head butting then you call me names! That don’t make what John Richmond right! The police report don’t reflect what happened on the video! John Richmond lied on that young man!

          • Randy Stelly, Yet you speculated about what happened out of camera range 🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️

          • My point is your convicting this man without due process. This is a misdemeanor charge and it sounds from your eloquently orchestrated letter this man should be convicted of murder . I’m just making an outside observation. I watched the video with an open and unbiased mind . I saw two actors in an exchange of words , one actor told the other to leave the premises. The owner I guess . And then I see the second actor in the scene exit the video behind a partition. Then the second actor returned in a confrontation with a third actor . Mr Richmond I assume . With those facts I could not with good conscience return an indictment like you do based on the evidence at hand. What I would do is further investigate with the 4th actor in the scene which is the man in the red shirt who actually saw the encounter behind the partition. With that evidence put forth I would either move to dismiss or seek charges . I stand by my initial claim . Why would you go after someone so hard on such flimsy evidence unless you have something to gain by attacking someone’s character with such ferocity. They’d laugh you out of court here in NOLA.

          • you exactly right John Richmond lied on that young man the video don’t lie these folks on here just mad cause John lies came out with the truth..so they need to sit down somewhere trying to defend John Richmond he put his hand round that young man neck and lied on the police report…also the lady in the video lied to she didn’t even see what had happened she came in there yelling saying the young man had put his hands on John and lied…Thank God for the video

        • Maybe, just maybe he did head butt or whatever. But we can’t speculate because we DON’T know, we weren’t there an we can’t see behind that partition. As you said in another comment about NOLA laughing. They surely would be lol at the speculation on your part. Courts will go by the video. Because that video is revealing FACTS!! So your account of events would be thrown out of any courtroom

      • Perfectly put! We teach children not to put hands on each other because it leads to trouble. I am concerned for trauma the victim had to endure both by those in power and the emotional long lasting damage this will cause him. It was typical of a type of domestic violence situation.

        We reap what we sow even when we are forgiven. Justice is not the same as forgiveness. Forgiveness is eternal command of God; justice comes by law. Assault is breaking man’s law; so is lying on a police report.

        Stay real! Stay well!✝️💕💟

  17. good government here ? got to be joking,you have another council member
    who was arrested for theft,you have others who shouldn’t even be on the council
    but still are.

      • Theft is still against the law, and anyone who has been convicted for theft does not have the moral character to be elected to any position in government. It’s not the first time this person has been close to trouble. and personally, I don’t believe anyone convicted of any crime should not be allowed to run for office. It’s ridiculous to continue to do this.

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