A New Orleans homicide detective, who is also a local artist, is under investigation for allegedly writing a message in the blood of a murder victim last week.
The victim’s blood had coagulated in the street and NOPD Det. Charles Hoffacker allegedly used it to scrawl a message on the ground, multiple sources told WWLTV.
A formal complaint was filed against Hoffacker and he was put on desk duty.
His attorney Eric Hessler of the Police Association of New Orleans said the crime scene was never compromised and the body had long been removed from the area.
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Hessler said Hoffacker may have used poor judgment, but that he had worked two double shifts over a bloody Memorial Day weekend, during which four people were killed and 15 wounded.
He said Hoffacker never intended any harm and did not violate any departmental rules.
“This was an isolated incident that happened during a very, very difficult time for New Orleans and for this officer also,” Hessler said. “And I’m hoping that the NOPD sees it that way and treats it that way.”
Hoffacker is known for his dark and gritty artwork. He used bullet casings in a portrait of drug kingpin Telly Hankton.
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“I use art to bring the violence I experience on a daily basis to the forefront of the more cultivated art world,” the artist's website reads. “Art to ignite reflection and artistic creation to spur a dialogue of resolution is the underlying purpose of pursuing this career. I find solace in the tradition of painting to both memorialize and reason my subject matter.”
In 2013, he told the Times-Picayune that art helps to clear his head and “has helped me be more healthy.”
For 18 days in 2012, from Oct. 24 to Nov. 10, there were no murders reported in New Orleans. NOLA.com called it "the longest such stretch in recent memory in the city." There have been 55 murders in 2014 so far.