Video Interview: Shamarr Allen on his Encounter With State Troopers

Trumpeter Shamarr Allen had a terrifying encounter with Louisiana State Troopers on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, and he sat down with us to tell his side of the story.

Shamarr Allen, OffBeat Magazine

Shamarr Allen on the cover of OffBeat in 2010.

Allen, who has been named a Cultural Ambassador by the State Department, volunteers to teach music to children out of his mother’s house in his native Ninth Ward, and has a clean record, was nevertheless treated like a criminal after being stopped by several State Troopers.

In a video recorded at the OffBeat offices on July 29, Allen recounts how he feared for his life after being forcibly removed from his car, pinned to the ground with an officer’s boot on his head, and harassed.

After the officers ran Allen’s name through the computer and found out that his record is “squeaky clean,” as he puts it, he was released without being charged with a crime or even accused of any wrongdoing.

Watch the video below to hear Shamarr Allen’s first hand account of what happened that night.

  • JohnInTucson

    Thanks Offbeat for recording and sharing this. Thanks Shamarr for sharing your story. We saw Shamarr at the Ellis Marsalis Center yesterday – the same day this was recorded. Nothing but positivity including bringing out some of his students to share the stage with him. One can only hope that as a society we can figure out how to get past the racism that so scars us emotionally and injures and kills many of our fellow citizens. The story is heartbreaking but also uplifting because of the strength and grace of Shamarr Allen.

    • Laura McNamara Doll

      I hope this will open the doors that need to be! A serious discussion is ready for those that could and should sit down and acknowledge the racism that continues to exist! What a beautiful man!

  • Michael Giorgio

    This is infuriating to listen to. I so hope this neanderthal bully stormtroopers are fired, fired, fired.

  • chira

    Outrageous treatment of a totally innocent person. I fear for our society, and wonder when the police will be held accountable for this kind of unlawful and brutal behavior. I don’t trust the police either, and I’m white! Thanks for presenting this man’s story.

  • Bill

    Just one more example of an unending string of Gestapo- like police behavior! I hope the families of all police involved in this incident Die a Horrible Fiery Death!

    • JP

      The police, right or wrong, their families have nothing to with any of this. I believe in capitol punishment, but no one deserves to die a horrible fiery death. Your just another pink, I mean black panther racist pig.

      • Jac

        Jp- what Bill said was awful. But I’d like to know why you think he’s a”black panther” or a “rascist”?