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NAACP reacts to Louisiana State Police reform changes

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 7:47 AM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Change may be on the way for Louisiana State Police after several high-profile use-of-force incidents.

Many of those incidents happened in Northeast Louisiana.

In 2019, Ronald Greene died in state police custody in Union Parish following a pursuit.

Bodycam video shows troopers beating and dragging Greene after they pulled him from his vehicle.

Last week, Col. Lamar Davis announced measures to prevent incidents like this from happening again.

“As you can see, I’ve made my command team more diverse,” said Davis.

The President of the Baton Rouge chapter of the NAACP, Eugene Collins, says that’s a good start.

“Col. Davis is appointed by the governor that is in place at that time, so that could change under the next administration,” said Collins. So, even that is something that systematically could be around for more than the next term as governor.”

Another reform measure includes the policy to intervene.

Davis says officers will have resources to stop the actions when they happen, regardless of rank.

“We have implemented a duty to intervene policy. Now every officer, every trooper has the duty to intervene,” said Davis.

“If you watch one of your colleagues kill somebody, your job will at least get rid of you. Policing is the only job that you go watch somebody get killed and go back to work,” said Collins.

The one policy that Collins says may have the most impact creates a separate task force to investigate allegations of use-of-force.

“By creating this unit, we know that it will be based off national best practices; those that will be participating in that specialized unit will receive the best training and will be considered subject matter experts,” said Davis

“If they can insulate themselves from that tin blue line that we all know about, I think it could be very, very productive, of everything else. I think this was the most positive thing I heard at a press conference. I think a unit like that could do a lot of good.”

Collins thinks the reform is a step in the right direction, but he wants to see more action, including more arrests of troopers who are involved in cases of police brutality.

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