Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington is setting the record straight about a local sexting/child pornography case.

On April 22, a Shreveport news station aired a story about the arrest of 17-year-old Levar Allen, a three sport athlete at Parkway High School. During the reporter’s interview with Allen’s mother, she claims he is “being singled out and charged excessively” because of his race.

Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington
Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington

Whittington, however, said this is not true, citing errors in the original news story.

“The real focus of this story should be about young people violating the law and not racism,” Whittington said. “It has nothing to do with racism. That’s ridiculous.”

Whittington said the problem with the April 22 news story is the reporter asserted that Levar Allen was only arrested because he was black and it omitted the fact that Allen provided the cell phone for the juvenile and the white female juvenile was also charged at the same time Allen was.

Whittington said these omissions from the original televised story “shows how determined this reporter was to concoct a racism conspiracy.”

“I’m appalled that this reporter injected racism into a case that had not one shred of evidence that indicates that anything or any part of this case had anything to do with racism. It did not. This is nonsense,” Whittington said. “It is a deceitful and totally bias report where facts were omitted all to fit the reporter’s narrative of racism and to make a good story.”

After the story aired, BSO Public Information Officer Lt. Bill Davis contacted the reporter to point out the mistakes in the story. Whittington said “nothing happened” as a result.

Further contact was made by Whittington to the station’s news director. The station finally “inserted the facts they had known all along into the original website version” on the night of April 29, “without changing the title or anything that would call attention to the story.”

“Who’s going to reread an article you’ve already read? Nobody,” Whittington said, who called the station’s effort an “attempt to appease” the Bossier Sheriff’s Office rather than correcting a “fabricated” news story.

Ultimately, Whittington calls it reckless, unprofessional, irresponsible and despicable reporting.

“The first amendment grants the media freedom of the press. Along with that comes responsibility. Channel 12, you did not use responsibility on this story,” Whittington said.

Whittington said the Bossier Sheriff’s Office has received threats since the story aired, but none directly against his life.

“If it sounds like this is personal to me, that’s because it is,” Whittington said. “Our job in law enforcement is difficult enough and dangerous as it is without these lies being told to the public. It takes years to gain the public’s trust and confidence. It can be wiped out in three and a half minutes with lies like this.”

The Bossier Sheriff’s Office held a press conference two years ago to address the seriousness of sexting with hopes of educating teens and parents about the consequences. Detectives and patrol members have also gone to every high school and middle school in Bossier Parish to talk with students directly.

Whittington said there have been two similar cases involving juveniles “almost exactly like this” over the past two and a half years that the law has been in effect. He now hopes parents will step up and not only educate their children on the law, but will supervise their actions.