NOPD officer accused of on-duty DWI after crashing marked police cruiser into ‘multiple’ vehicles in Warehouse District
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A New Orleans police officer was arrested last week on accusations that he was driving drunk while on duty, after he crashed his marked NOPD cruiser into several vehicles while driving with a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit.
The NOPD said Traffic Division officer Denzel Millon was taken into custody around 4 a.m. last Thursday (July 28), after “striking multiple vehicles.” The incident occurred near the intersection of South Peters and St. Joseph streets in the Warehouse District.
Millon submitted to a breathalyzer test that registered his blood alcohol content at .186 percent, more than twice the state’s limit of .08 to legally operate a motor vehicle. He was booked with DWI and driving on a roadway laned for traffic.
Supt. Shaun Ferguson publicly acknowledged Millon’s arrest for the first time during a press conference on other matters Wednesday at NOPD headquarters.
“As is standard procedure, he’s reassigned, pending further investigation,” Ferguson said. “He was arrested, he has his right to due process, but he will be reassigned pending this investigation.”
The officer’s arrest was a poorly kept secret in law enforcement circles, but the closure of the city’s Municipal and Traffic Court last Thursday because of roof damage has prevented reporters from accessing records about the incident. Ferguson on Wednesday defended the fact that the NOPD failed to report the arrest to the public for the past six days.
“Unless you ask us, we don’t just run and tell you,” Ferguson said with a shrug. “We don’t have to report everything out like that. We’re not required to do that. But, nevertheless, it’s not anything that we’re hiding, either. It’s just something that happened and now we’re telling you about it.”
Ferguson bristled when asked about the department’s apparent lack of transparency regarding the officer’s arrest.
“I don’t agree with that,” he said. “We have not done that in the past. We have never done that. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with that, but we’ve never done that. But when asked, we acknowledge.”
Donovan Livaccari, the attorney representing Millon from the local Fraternal Order of Police chapter, did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the case.
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