In an interview with local news outlet WAFB, Ron Haley, an attorney for two of the individuals arrested, said a video taken inside the car shows that Brooks was coherent the entire time the incident took place.
“Can you tell, that she was intoxicated, yes. To the point under the law that you say you’re in a drunken stupor, to the point that you cannot lawfully give consent or answer questions, absolutely that was not the case,” Haley told the outlet.
Haley said that she got into a disagreement with the driver after they left the bar and got out of the car.
“Based on a disagreement, she got out of the vehicle. She indicated she was getting an Uber. I want the public to know, these young men, or really the driver of the vehicle and the young men that were in there, did not put her off on the side of the road,” Haley said.
LSU President William F. Tate IV said in a statement that what happened to Brooks was “evil and our legal system will parcel out justice.”
He also called for action against local businesses that provide alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.
“In the coming days, we will call a meeting with these business owners to discuss how their responsibilities directly impact the safety of our students,” Tate said in the statement. “We will work openly against any business that doesn’t join us in efforts toward creating a safer environment for our students. Enough is enough.”
The College Democrats of LSU and Feminists in Action, student-run organizations, have criticized the president’s message, saying they were “sickened by this attempt to victim blame and further ignore the overwhelming violence, particularly sexual violence, we face as students.”
“While we agree that local bars and businesses, specifically in Tigerland, need to do more to protect their patrons, we call on you to provide a succinct analysis of how the age of the victim and perpetrators are relevant to this goal,” the statement read. “We are glad you are outraged but insist that you direct this energy to fix the sexual violence our community faces instead of using alcohol as a scapegoat.”
A spokesperson for the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control told BuzzFeed News that due to the seriousness and the potential threat to public safety, Reggie’s Bar in Tigerland has been suspended.
“This action immediately suspends the service or sale of alcoholic beverages at this location,” the spokesperson said. “An emergency hearing will be held next month to determine what penalties (if any) should be imposed following a presentation of the evidence.”
In a post on Instagram that has since been deleted, Brooks’s sorority, Alpha Phi, said she was “bubbly, loving, and selfless friend.”
“She left an indelible mark on our chapter, we cherish our memories together and we will never forget her,” LSU Alpha Phi wrote.