After three terms on the city council of your small town (Westlake, Louisiana; population 4,700 or so) you just won the office of mayor with 69% of the vote. You will be the town’s first new mayor in 24 years, and you will be the first black mayor in a town that is 80% white.
Most people would view this as a cause for celebration, not a reason to commit suicide, but officials in Calcasieu Parish want us to believe that Gerald Washington killed himself on Dec. 30 outside an old elementary school with a single self-inflicted gunshot to the chest.
The family doesn’t buy it either.“Calcasieu Parish is known to be racist,” Geroski Washington, Gerald Washington’s son, said in a telephone interview. “There were lots of folks who didn’t want my father to become the mayor.”