A deceased deputy in Louisiana was denied burial in an Allen Parish cemetery, reportedly due to the color of his skin.
APSO Deputy Darrel Semien, the late husband of Karla Semien, reportedly died from cancer on Sunday, sending a wave of grief through the entire sheriff’s office.
When Mrs. Semien attempted to inter her husband in Oaklin Springs Cemetery, she was told he would not be permitted.
“It was in their by-laws that the cemetery was ‘whites only,’” she said. “I just kinda looked at her and she said, ‘There’s no coloreds allowed.’”
The bylaws of the cemetery reference “the right of burial of the remains of white human beings,” and was written up over seven decades ago.
The family was disappointed, as they wanted to bury the deputy at the site, but learned they would need board approval.
According to the New York Post, Creig Vizena, president of the Oaklin Springs Cemetery Association, said he was “very ashamed” to learn of the racist practice and vowed to set things right.
“I promise you, it will be fixed,” he said. “It never came up. I take full responsibility for that. I’ve been the president of this board for several years now.”
The employee who turned the family away has since been terminated.
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