Justice for Alexis Pons

Parish: St. Tammany

Police Department: Mandeville Police Department

I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and grew up in Mandeville. I attended an all-girls Catholic high school which taught me how to be outspoken and stand up for what I believe in. I went on to get a Bachelor of Science in Recording Industry Management as I had always had an interest in the arts. In my free time she loves to do anything that is related to music and I would describe myself as independent, loyal, creative, and honest.

In 2019, my sister-in-law was running for mayor. When people would ask me various questions regarding my sister in law’s qualifications and eligibility to run for office, I would give them my honest answer, which upset my sister-in-law and her supporters, including the Chief of Police. My sister-in-law began spreading distasteful photos of me and harassing me on Facebook, prompting me to file a police report in August of 2020. As I read over the copy of the report I had been given, I realized I had been flagged as a mental patient who had failed the impact test.

Since then, I have tried my best to get the flag removed as the Police Chief and police department have no concrete evidence that suggest I have any mental illnesses and this flag puts me in great danger. Though I have been told by multiple people that they would take care of it, including the current mayor, nothing has been done to help me in getting the flag removed.

One of my friends wrote an email on my behalf to the city council at the end of January 2021. They were told that I had 29 complaints, disturbances, and arrests which are all false. I asked for copies of these reports and was only given seventeen of them which had no substance. Most recently, I found out that my brother and sister-in-law have had the NCIC track my and I am now assigned an FBI number.

This situation has affected my entire life. Everywhere I go, people know about me and my situation and most people will not believe me or hear what I have to say because I am deemed a mental patient.

I am afraid to leave my apartment because I worry that if I am a victim to a violent crime, the police will not do anything to help me, or even worse blame me.

I struggle with anxiety but the stigma of being flagged as a mental patient has stopped me from reaching out to get help.

Because of this situation, it is hard for me to find employment and it has made me feel isolated and hopeless. I have been told to leave Mandeville but believe that is unfair to me as I have grown up here and been here my entire life.

I have tried contacting multiple lawyers in my local area, but all have turned me down because my incident and allegations go against the Chief of Police.

I want nothing more than to be able to feel safe in my own community and have the flag be taken off of me, because I truly believe it is threatening my life.

My view of the justice system has changed as I now only view them as an organization that works for and protects their own people and could not care less about those who do not have money or are viewed as outsiders; the police are bullies who use their power to belittle others.

I hope to destigmatize mental illness and hope that the police department implement mental health programs and training for police officers that teach them how to actually care for someone struggling with a mental illness. Mentally ill people often have no voice and I want to advocate for those who have been silenced by police.

I hope that through sharing my story, I can find people who have gone through similar situations and show them that they are not alone. My advice is to ‘hold on’ and keep fighting until you get the justice you deserve.

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