Police union rep who was fired for doing an interview about pro-police billboards wins appeal to get his job back


BATON ROUGE, LA – A Baton Rouge Police officer, who also serves as a representative for the local police union, was fired roughly five months after having engaged in an interview during the summer of 2020.

The interview was pertaining to some controversial billboards that were funded by the Baton Rouge Union of Police.

Yet, months after this officer’s termination for an alleged policy violation pertaining to engaging in interviews, the Baton Rouge civil service board voted unanimously to see this officer reinstated.

Back in July of 2020, Baton Rouge Police Officer Siya Creel engaged in an interview with local investigative journalist Kiran Chawla for her personal YouTube channel regarding some billboards that were being commissioned by the Baton Rouge Union of Police.

The nature of these billboards featured messages pertaining to the level of crime occurring in the city, with one billboard in particular noting that Baton Rouge was listed as the fifth deadliest city in the United States and that motorists should enter the city at their “own risk.”

Following the billboards going live within the city, the city mayor was reportedly not pleased by the messaging present on the billboards and demanded that the police union have them removed.

This also resulted in Officer Creel coming under investigation by the BRPD for having been interviewed by Chawla back in July of 2020.

By December 15th of 2020, Officer Creel was fired from the Baton Rouge Police Department based upon alleged violations of department policy regarding engaging in interviews.

In the termination paperwork, BRPD Chief Murphy Paul alleged that Officer Creel had failed to adhere to “policy, procedures and Departmental regulations.”

The termination paperwork further proclaimed that Officer Creel failed to receive “proper authorization from Chief Paul’s office or the BRPD Public Relations Division to participate in an interview that would lead the general public to believe that you were representing BRPD.”

Reportedly, the justification of alleging that the general public could misconstrue Officer Creel’s interview as being him speaking for the BRPD was due to him “wearing his badge and uniform,” according to a report from WAFB.

Kiran Chawla, the woman who interviewed Officer Creel in July of 2020, was livid once she’d heard of Creel’s firing over an interview:

“In my career, I have interviewed God knows how many union leaders both on and off the clock, in uniform, in plain clothes, with guns on or without a gun.

“Not once in the history of the Baton Rouge Union of Police has an executive member been disciplined for speaking to the media on behalf of its membership or the public even if it was adversarial to the sitting police chief.”

What’s all the more confusing regarding the allegations of Officer Creel being “in uniform” during the interview from July of 2020 is that he’s clearly not in any discernable police uniform – unless the BRPD’s standard uniform is a purple Mickey Mouse golf polo.

Officer Creel
Officer Creel wearing purple Mickey Mouse polo during interview in July 2020

Not only was Chawla  incensed over the termination of Officer Creel for reasons thought to be absurd, but she pointed out that the BRPD did this weeks before Christmas while Officer Creel was “battling cancer”:

“Officer Creel has been battling cancer for some time now and has been going through chemo. The department knew this and continuously added stress on his plate over that one interview for the past several months before ultimately firing him one week before Christmas. He has a wife and kids to support and still has to continue his chemo treatments.”

Months after his termination, the Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board reversed Officer Creel’s termination on April 27th, changing the disciplinary action as being an 87-day suspension without pay – which Officer Creel has already endured.

The reversal from the board came after it was rightfully acknowledged that other BRPD officers were accused of similar violations in the past to that of Officer Creel’s alleged policy violations and were only doled out one or two-day suspensions.

A date for Officer Creel’s return to duty has not yet been finalized.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

In other news pertaining to officers fired for alleged policy violations, a Norfolk Police Lieutenant was reportedly fired in April after it came to light that he’d used his department email account when making a donation to Kyle Rittenhouse’s legal defense fund in 2020. 

Here’s that previous report. 


NORFOLK, VA– On Tuesday, April 20th, officials announced that a Norfolk Police Lieutenant has been fired from the force after it was revealed that he donated to a legal defense fund set up for Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse.

According to reports, Lt. William Kelly anonymously gave $25 to a fundraiser for Rittenhouse back in September 2020, using his city email address. In the message that accompanied the donation, Kelly wrote:

“You’ve done nothing wrong. Every rank and file police officer supports you. Don’t be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership.”

Rittenhouse, who is 17-years-old, is accused of killing two individuals who confronted him during a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020.

Rittenhouse stands firm that he was attacked and feared for his life when the activists came at him on the street and that he shot at them in self-defense.

After an internal investigation found that Kelly acted in violation if city and departmental policies by sending the donation and a personal note, he was fired from the force.

Kelly was formerly the number two official in the Norfolk Police Department’s internal affairs division.

Reportedly, the firing came 24-hours after it was revealed that a Utah paramedic, who contributed 10 dollars to the same fund is now the victim of a media terror campaign.

A journalist from ABC4, Salt Lake City’s ABC-affiliate began terrorizing the paramedic after he took advantage of a data breach at a Christian website and published the names of private citizens who contributed to the Rittenhouse’s fund.

The journalist, Jason Nguyen tweeted:

“@wvcfd conducting an investigation after a paramedic is caught donating $10 to the defense fund of Kyle Rittenhouse using his government email. @abc4utah”

Nguyen named the paramedic and with cameras in tow, showed up at his house in a way that revealed all kinds of details that gave away the location of his private residence. He also tried to get the paramedic fired by telling is employer about what happened.

The city responded by releasing a statement that said it is “conducting an investigation into the matter.” The statement read:

“We can confirm that (NAME REDACTED) is an employee of the West Valley City Fire Department. We have become aware of a donation made using his government email account. We are conducting an investigation into this matter, however, such a donation would be representative of personal actions and not those of West Valley City.”

In a statement confirming the dismissal of Kelly, City Manager Chip Filer said:

“I have reviewed the results of the internal investigation involving Lt. William Kelly. Chief Larry Boone and I have concluded Lt. Kelly’s actions are in violation of City and departmental policies. His egregious comments erode the trust between the Norfolk Police Department and those they are sworn to serve. The City of Norfolk has a standard of behavior for all employees, and we will hold staff accountable.”

Others joined in on the disapproval, with Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander saying:

“This alleged statement and action by a member of Norfolk’s Police Department is alarming and by all means not consistent with the values of our city or the standards set for our employees.”

Reportedly, Lt. Kelly is afforded the right to appeal the decision in accordance with the City of Norfolk grievance procedure and applicable law. 

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!

Facebook Follow First

Related Posts