‘A slap in the face’: Family of late sheriff’s deputy denied at ‘WHITES ONLY’ cemetery

The employee, who KATC reported has since been fired, held in her hand a contract dubbed “The Right of Burial of the Remains of White Human Beings.” H. Creig Vizena, the cemetery board’s president and the nephew of the 81-year-old woman who refused the family, promised the contract would be fixed and offered them one of his own plots. “I’m still very ashamed of what happened,” he told KATC. “Who wouldn’t be?”

The Semiens told the news station their father, who died at 55-years-old of cancer, deserved more and they wouldn’t be burying him at the cemetery. “My dad wasn’t any man, he was a phenomenal man,” Shayla said. “He was a police officer in this same community for 15 years. He was denied a place to lay because of the color of his skin.”

Semien’s wife, Karla Semien, shared her sentiments in a Facebook post shared more than 760 times:

“I honestly can’t believe this just happened . I just went to oaklin springs cemetery to pick a plot for my husband to be buried . I met with the lady out there and she said she could NOT sell me a plot because the cemetery is a WHITES ONLY cemetery. She even had paperwork on a clipboard showing me that only white human beings can be buried there . She stood in front of me and all my kids wow what a slap in the face .  I just can’t believe in 2021 in oberlin Louisiana this is happening 😭”


Semien served in the transport division of the Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office, the department said in a Facebook post on January 24. “He served with honor and will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Karla and the rest of his family,” the sheriff’s office said in the post.

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