Good Friday started off in a decidedly bad way for Ean Bordeaux.
The hot dog vendor was roused from his slumber at 4 a.m. by the sound of dogs barking and the sight of his hot dog cart — the source of his livelihood — on fire.
“So I’m running down in my robe and putting it out with my hand,” Bordeaux told KARK-TV in Little Rock, Ark., adding that the mini-inferno “could have blown up the house.”
Bordeaux added that he saw someone running from the scene, but with the fire extinguished, he decided to call the police and wait.
Fifteen minutes later, Bordeaux saw another shocking sight: A white man wearing a mask coming back to the scene and attempting to set his cart on fire again.
“And this is the hood, so I don’t know what masked white men are doing in the ghetto,” he noted to KARK.
With that, Bordeaux ran outside and chased the man — who took off once he saw Bourdeaux coming after him — tackling him in the street.
The man hit the ground face-first and died of his injuries.
“We didn’t fight or anything,” Bordeaux told KARK, noting he wasn’t attempting to hurt the culprit. “Why should I? … I knew the police were coming, I already called them. There was no need to hurt him, there was a need to hold him.”
Now the tale takes an even stranger turn.
It turns out the masked man was identified as Joel Todd Payne, an ex-Little Rock cop who’d been decertified in 2012 for being untruthful after failing to respond to calls for assistance, cowardice, dereliction of duty and neglect of duty, according to the Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training.
But why would Payne allegedly set fire to a hot dog vendor’s cart?
Well, Bordeaux moonlights as a blogger who writes about local police corruption on his aptly monikered Corruption Sucks site — and has included Payne in his posts. (Content warning: Bordeaux’s blog uses rough language and explicit images.)
“Why would I want someone to die?” Bordeaux added to KARK. “I want justice and justice doesn’t require someone to die.”
Little Rock police released Bordeaux without charges even though it investigated the incident as a homicide, KARK reported, adding that it will be up to the county prosecutor as to whether criminal charges against Bordeaux are filed.
Bordeaux had this to say on his blog two days after the incident with Payne:
Reality is if this world was actually as most people think it is, we would not have independent investigations, audits & police internal affairs departments and this social justice blog site would not exist. Reality is that almost every police department has good cops and bad cops. The problem is that many police departments refuse to acknowledge or proactively address the bad cops within their ranks.
(H/T: I Acknowledge)