Louisiana Mom Arrested Under 'Notoriety' Law for Posting Video of a School Fight

But what she did wasn't actually illegal.


Scott Police Department/Facebook

A Louisiana mom was arrested this week for posting a video of a fight at her son's high school online. But she doesn't appear to have actually broken the law.

Police in Scott, Louisiana, arrested 32-year-old Maegan Adkins-Barras following a fight between two students at Acadiana High School. Adkins-Barras "admitted that once she received the video from her son, she then posted the video to social media where it was shared repeatedly," the Scott Police Department wrote on Facebook. (The two students involved in the fight have been charged as well, one with second-degree battery and the other disturbing the peace.)

Was the mom's decision to post the video in poor taste? Possibly. Was it a crime? Police seem to think so. "Parents who receive information concerning criminal activity on school campuses are urged to contact their local police department or school administration," the department's Facebook post read. "Posting videos and photos of illegal activity on social media is against the law in the State of Louisiana."

But that's not what the law says. The statute that police say Adkins-Barras violated makes it "unlawful for a person who is either a principal or accessory to a crime to obtain an image of the commission of the crime using any camera, videotape, photo-optical, photo-electric, or any other image recording device and to transfer that image obtained during the commission of the crime by the use" of any sort of electronic device. The cops seem to have missed the phrase "a person who is either a principal or accessory to a crime."

To make the charge stick, the authorities will have to "establish that she was a principal or accessory to the fight, and that means they're going to have to establish that she was there and somehow started or encouraged the fight," criminal defense attorney Franz Borghardt tells The Acadania Advocate. Not only that, but they'll have to prove that Adkins-Barras posted the video in an effort to gain notoriety or publicity.

Scott Police Chief Chad Leger tells the Lafayette Daily Advertiser that parents should use their common sense. That may be true, but lacking common sense is not a crime.

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  1. Hmm… It looks like maybe the police just wanted to “get their hands on her”.

    1. Can’t really blame them. Kind of a MILF, although her nose looks like something you’d see on a Kentucky Derby winner. But still, I’ve seen a lot worse.

      1. @CA: I’m betting the farm that you are not that picky in your real life.

        1. Most people here only date swimsuit models.

          1. Except for John, and even he only dates “plus sized models.”

        2. You would lose that bet. I didn’t say that I personally would, but I can kind of see where some people might. The deal breaker for me ins’t her looks as much as the fact that she’s only 32 and has a kid who’s already in high school. I’m guessing she’s probably been ridden more than a Kentucky Derby winner in addition to having the nose of one.

      2. See, this is why we can never have any nice lady libertarians over.

        1. Well, that… and because they’re all too busy riding their unicorns around Galt’s Gulch.

  2. In addition to arresting the mom, even though she specifically did not violate any law, they actually arrested the kids for a fight at the HS?

    WTF??? Example 345,864 of how this country is going to Hel in a hand cart.

    1. Exactly. When I was in school a fight meant suspension for a day or two maybe hard labor in gym class. There were fights in the parking lot that no one in authority even noticed. It’s a police state now.

    2. The two students involved in the fight have been charged as well, one with second-degree battery and the other disturbing the peace.

      One of the kids was arrested for 2nd degree battery. I’m not sure what the legal definition of 2nd degree battery is in Louisiana, but I assume this was more than just a minor tussle, although I haven’t seen the video so who knows. I’ll reserve judgement on the appropriateness of the battery charge.

      The disturbing the peace on the other kid is more likely bullshit. Unless he was the one who instigated the fight, and then got beaten up enough for the other kid to get a 2nd degree battery charge, and even then I would think the embarrassment that comes with starting shit and then getting your ass whooped would be punishment enough, no need for a disturbing the peace charge.

      1. ?34.1. Second degree battery

        Second degree battery is a battery committed without the consent of the victim when the offender intentionally inflicts serious bodily injury.

        For purposes of this [clause], serious bodily injury means bodily injury which involves unconsciousness, extreme physical pain or protracted and obvious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty, or a substantial risk of death.

        Having quoted all that, it should also be noted that “substantial risk of death” has been defined downward to what most of us would call “any risk of death no matter how remote” and “protracted impairment” has been defined down to pretty much any broken bone or bruise. Based on the charge alone, I do not think you can simply assume that it was “more than just a minor tussle” – I concur that you’d have to look at the video.

  3. The law as is seems unconstitutional anyway.

  4. Someone in authority was embarrassed that disorder and crime at their school got publicized.

    1. Ding!

    2. Winner winner, chicken dinner.

  5. When the police start going after harmless ‘crimes’ like this, that means it’s time to consider reducing their budget. There is no amount of reforms that can fix this, because they will only redirect resources to other police state initiatives.

    1. It’s a difficult decision. If the budget is too low, police won’t have the resources to go after killers. What we need is a police force full of cops who would rather hunt down and arrest homicidal maniacs than put high school boys in handcuffs. Where will we find cops like that?

  6. I wonder if someone with a journalism school degree who’s employed at at TV news station would be arrested for posting a school fight video?

    1. Of course not. A trained professional in the privileged class would know better than take images of such an instance and conflate it into a larger narrative.

      1. ^ nice

    2. The 1A guarantees “freedom of the professional news corporations to spew bullshit, unlike the peons who don’t know any better.”.

      Doesn’t it???

  7. but lacking common sense is not a crime

    It’s also not a job disqualifier for a cop.

    1. The cops lack the common sense to realize they’re not supposed to be arresting people for things that aren’t actually a crime and might actually get them sued for the well-known “chilling effect” on the free speech rights of the individual so arrested. Not that the cops will be in any way impacted by the lawsuit, taxpayers are punished for the transgressions of the PD.

    2. Some might argue that it’s a job requirement.

  8. “Parents who receive information concerning criminal activity on school campuses are urged to contact their local police department or school administration,” the department’s Facebook post read.

    She posted it on Facebook. QED.

    1. Seconded.

      1. She’s 32 years old and has a son in high-school. You know she’s capable of making bad decisions.

        1. Those are the best kind.

        2. She’s 32 years old and has a son in high-school.

          She lives in Louisiana. This just means she wants to fit in and be like everyone else.

    2. Of course.

    3. All I’ve seen is a picture of her face. She could be more up John’s alley below the neck. I’ll wait for more evidence to make my decision.

    4. Her face looks like she’s a boxer.

      1. So you worry about that sort of thing…

      2. Her face looks like she’s a boxer.

        It’s clear she prepped for the photo as the makeup seems pretty heavy. Even with that, to me, the concealer isn’t cutting it. Some people are drawn to the sort of hot mess that can throw on a face in 20 min. but can’t avoid operating in a stupor the (several) night(s) beforehand, but to me, it’s setting off all kinds of crazy alarm bells.

        I’d put her towards the hot side of the spectrum, but nowhere near the cost of any craziness involved.

  9. The law itself appears to be a pretty straightforward Son of Sam type law, which have generally been held constitutional. But the application here…well, that’s something else.

  10. Wait a little lagniappe…

    If it’s “unlawful for a person who is either a principal or accessory to a crime to obtain an image of the commission of the crime” does this mean Louisianans can’t obtain photographic evidence of crimes they’re accused of committing? Only the popo-boys get to see it?

    1. I believe you have to include the “and to transfer the image….”. So it isn’t 2 separate things. To violate the law, one would have to obtain the image AND transfer it electronically.

      There may also be language in that statute (though I don’t know, too lazy to look it up) that doesn’t prohibit using the images for legal purposes or something like that.

      1. So you can’t even transmit the evidence to your own lawyer? Yeah, that seems open to a constitutional challenge.

        By the wording of this law, you also can’t feel remorse and send the evidence of your crime (along with your confession) to the police without committing a new crime. That seems counterproductive.

        This is just a poorly worded law.

        1. We’re talking Louisiana here. The English language is not their strong suit.

        2. Nah man, apparently every time you want to see the evidence, you gotta go down to the station and watch the chief’s VCR.

  11. Wait. In the fights I am aware of, there is a perpetrator, and a victim.
    How in hell do both kids get charged with a crime?
    Is getting knocked down disturbing the peace?
    Maybe he was just yelling for help really, really loudly?

    1. Is getting knocked down disturbing the peace?

      Maybe the one that was charged w/ disturbing the peace was the one who instigated the fight, and then got his ass kicked by the one that was charged w/ battery?

      1. Yous alls be instigatin’! Stop instigatin’!

      2. Once it’s on social media, the police look bad if they do nothing. When they find a way to charge both parties involved, a plead bargain that results in both charges getting dropped lets them rack up credit for arrests and for saving tax payer dollars via mediation instead of trials.

    2. You’ve never seen a fight where both guys wanted to beat the hell out of each other? Then you haven’t really seen a fight.

    3. When I was in school, both kids in a fight would get punished.

      Of course, no one would get charged for a crime, that’s just what we get for sticking cops in schools to stop the billions of school shooters.

  12. Louisiana sure is having a bunch of their laws struck down lately, for violating the Constitution.

    1. It’s just a truly shitty state government from top to bottom.

  13. I thought this was another hot Louisiana teacher busted for having sex with a student.

  14. So…when will we see these police officers arrested for kidnapping and false imprisonment?

    My magic 8-ball sez “half past never.”

    Cops keep digging their own graves.

  15. More cop BS that needs to be pushed back against HARD.

  16. I guarantee you that the Supreme will consider that sharing genes makes you an accessory.

    1. Sharing genes, probably not. But if they swapped jeans during the fight then probably.

  17. What a terrible use of the law. The point is to keep people from profiting from filming a crime they were committing. I think this is already more of a paranoid than a worthwhile goal, as though there would be a pile of reality shows committing minor crimes to make money, but here it’s a chilling of speech.

    If I film a crime I wasn’t involved in and I post the video, I certainly have the rights which come from the speech involved. Notoriety, fame, money, whatever. Too bad if it glorifies something bad. Speech can do whatever it wants. Government often wants to be the thought police, to make us think morally. That’s a terrible goal.

  18. Well, she is guilty of being a trashy idiot.

  19. Would like to see some more pics of the mom…

  20. “That may be true, but lacking common sense is not a crime.”

    Good thing. Our jails don’t have room to house the actual criminals we have to deal with as it is.

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