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Bunkie fatal ATV incident still under investigation, raises concerns for some citizens

Some Bunkie citizens are concerned about issues they believe are facing the town after the death of Reginald Smith, Jr. | Photo Source: KALB
Some Bunkie citizens are concerned about issues they believe are facing the town after the death of Reginald Smith, Jr. | Photo Source: KALB(KALB)
Published: Aug. 16, 2019 at 5:01 PM CDT
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According to an official press release from the Bunkie Police Department, on Saturday, Aug. 3, officers spotted an ATV traveling at a high speed without lights on around 1 a.m.

They tried to find the ATV and eventually located it off of Hwy.115. The driver, Reginald Smith, Jr., 20, of Bunkie, was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Everything I said what's happened from the beginning is what's happened. We have nothing to hide,” said Bunkie Police Chief Scotty Ferguson.

However, some concerned citizens believe that Smith’s death was more so tied to a string of issues they think the town is facing, so they protested.

"I'm concerned about how they were chasing him,” said Smith’s cousin Lawanda Daniels. “He was only trying to make it home."

"We are protesting for police brutality, discrimination, racial profiling, and class discrimination," said event organizer Quazeric Reed.

As soon as speculation about the incident began, Chief Ferguson said he called for an investigation into the incident to clear his name. The coroner sent off a toxicology test, and the Louisiana State Police investigated the details, like damage to the vehicles involved and footage that shows parts of the event.

"My officers, or even me, are going to be honest, because you've got penalties and consequences you face if you try to lie or cover-up,” said Ferguson. “Everything I've said has been honest and straight on point."

So, the toxicology report on Smith was released to the public Friday morning.

"The results from the toxicology came back, it was 0.144...08 is the limit," said Ferguson.

That’s just under twice the legal limit.

The rest of the investigation by LSP is still under review and should be released to the public soon.

News Channel 5 will let you know when that is made public.

Copyright 2019 KALB. All rights reserved.

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