SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - James Carter, of The Cochran Firm, along with the family of Tommie McGlothen Jr., held a news conference demanding transparency from the Shreveport Police Department. It began shortly after 11 a.m. at the Caddo Parish Courthouse.
The 44-year-old man died while in police custody back on April 5.
News of the action was disclosed June 8, after KSLA Investigates uncovered cellphone video of McGlothen’s last encounter with Shreveport police. News of Chief Ben Raymond placing the four officers involved on departmental leave was reported a short time later.
The family says the police department told them McGlothen died from a heart episode like a heart attack. However, when they went to view his body, they discovered a broken nose, a broken jaw and that the right side of his face was swollen.
"This family has known all along that they weren’t being given the full story by the Shreveport Police Dept. as it relates to the death of Tommie McGlothen, Jr. In fact, they weren’t provided even the most basic information regarding his death, including his autopsy.
While their desperate attempts to get information about how he died have gone unanswered thus far, we see in today's release of the coroner's report and the video that just surfaced, that there is much more to this story.
The Cochran Firm will be conducting our own independent investigation into this matter and we will formally request that other outside agencies investigate as well.
We will leave no stone unturned in our quest for justice for this family." -James Carter of The Cochran Firm
Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins also addressed McGlothen’s case in the June 9 city council meeting.
The organization detailed 13 proposed changes for the city of Shreveport and SPD.
- Construct and implement a citizens’ review board that is independent from the Police Department to handle any investigations of crimes involving law enforcement whenever harmful methods are employed. Harmful being any of but not limited to police batons, firearms, mace, pepper spray and rubber bullets.
- An audit of the Police Department held by the aforementioned independent review board.
- Require a persecutor that neither directly or indirectly works with the Shreveport or Bossier City police departments in any capacity when prosecuting crimes involving law enforcement.
- Create direct quantifiable criteria to determine what it means to be of good moral character for the minimum requirements to become a police officer.
- Require SPD applicants to test for implicit racial bias.
- Better training practices within the SPD, including programs that occur quarterly and are evaluated for effectiveness every other quarter by both the SPD and the aforementioned citizens’ review board.
- A requirement of body and dash cams for each officer and their vehicle.
- The legal or settlement fees associated with any future cases involving police brutality or misconduct are to be paid out of the police retirement fund.
- Prevent racial profiling
- Reformation of the cash bail/probation fines/fees system.
- The funds allocated to prison construction should be redirected to the renovation of standing prisons to provide and meet a standard of living suitable to the dignity of the inmate.
- A rewrite of the qualified immunity law to ensure police officers face punishment once they have been found guilty of a crime.
- The creation and implementation of a good neighbor policy which will create immunity for anyone who saves a human being from (but not limited to) being pummeled, assaulted and/or murdered by the police in accordance with Warren v. District of Columbia and the Duty to Rescue Doctrine.
We the People plans to expand on these demands so the organization can push for the creation of these policies in October during the legislative period.
The organization also has created the initiative #WhiteByMySide. The initiative will not support any locally owned, white businesses that they’ve supported in the past moving forward in the cities of Shreveport and Bossier City. This will include businesses who they say are voiceless during these events, but will simultaneously exploit support from fellow black entrepreneurs’ social following for their own gain.
We’re listening to YOUR VOICE on race relations. Tell us the story you want everyone to hear by uploading a message to ksla.com/tellusyourstory.