SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — A Shreveport councilwoman is taking a major stand by calling for an independent investigation of the Shreveport Police Department.
And that’s what prompted a news conference Monday morning at the entrance to Government Plaza.
That’s where LeVette Fuller unveiled her resolution to bring in the Feds.
“Something is rotten in the state of our department. To unearth these issues will require objective, independent investigation by an agency outside our local jurisdiction,” Fuller said.
“This resolution follows the path to reform, for better or for worse, by my council colleagues.”
She calls this a direct response to several factors.
Those include the deaths of two men allegedly while in police custody — Tommy McGlothen Jr. on April 5 and Wavey Austin two weeks later.
Then there’s also the deadly police shooting of Anthony Childs last year.
Fuller also cited the recent indictments of eight Shreveport police officers for their alleged role in an altercation in January. They are accused of using excessive force after a high-speed chase.
Later Monday, Police Chief Ben Raymond released the following statement in response to Fuller’s resolution calling for an investigation of his department:
As for Fuller, she’s quick to point out that these are not issues that just involve one or two groups or just certain areas of Shreveport.
"This is not a racial issue. This is an issue of systemic dysfunction throughout this department."
Fuller elaborated by saying, “I have been reached out to by members of our community — black and white — about excessive force, unsatisfactory view of the Police Department. This is not about one segment of our community.”
Shreveport Councilman Grayson Boucher says he supports the Police Department and its the officers 100%, and he added that now may be a good time for an investigation.
“Over the last few weeks, there’s been some complaints that have been made to me about some things that I just can’t in good conscience let go.”
Speaking by phone with Fuller hours after the news conference, she said if you had asked her Friday she was certain she had the four votes to pass the resolution.
But Fuller explained that after three fellow council members did not attend the morning news conference as planned, she can’t assume anything for Tuesday’s big vote.
And Fuller said she won’t give up if the U.S. Justice Department declines to investigate the Police Department.
She said she’d sponsor a different resolution to bring in a different independent investigation of the Shreveport Police Department.