Jindal orders police to protect Lafayette funerals from picketing

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is issuing a warning to the Westboro Baptist Church, which has threatened to picket the funerals of two victims from the Lafayette, La., movie theater shooting this week.

Jindal on Saturday told state police to “take swift and immediate action” against anyone who tries to disrupt the funerals of 21-year-old Mayci Breaux or 33-year-old Jillian Johnson.

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“In times of grief and mourning, the rule of law is especially important to protect the rights of citizens when they are most vulnerable, and any effort to disrupt or interfere with a family’s ability to grieve following the loss of a loved one is a reprehensible act,” Jindal wrote in an executive order announced late Saturday morning.

"Any action by any individual or group to in any way disrupt, interfere, or cause additional suffering during this time of mourning is unconscionable and morally reprehensible," Jindal wrote.

Jindal’s order comes one day after the Westboro Baptist Church, widely described as an anti-gay extremist group, announced that it would picket the funerals.

The shooter, John Russell Hooser, had reportedly supported the group, according to an investigation by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Westboro Baptist Church frequently threatens to protest high-profile funerals, including those of the victims of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting in 2012.

Jindal’s order will remain in place for two days after the funerals.