Officer accused of thefts targeting Hispanics

Posted at 9:29 PM, Dec 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-29 21:29:32-05

AMITE, La. (AP) — Police say a Louisiana officer accused of stealing from Hispanic motorists who did not speak English has been arrested.

A Tuesday news release from the state police says Officer Laquinton Banks of the Independence Police Department was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish jail on charges of felony theft, malfeasance and hate crimes.

State police said the investigation started Dec. 23 when the Independence department received a complaint about thefts of money from motorists. The police chief placed Banks on leave and contacted state police to investigate.

State police said charges would be referred to the district attorney in Tangipahoa. The sheriff's office did not immediately respond to an email request for information on whether Banks has an attorney available for comment.