ACLU of Louisiana contacts DOJ for the second time, AP delves into a ‘pattern’ at LSP

Crime

FILE – In this May 10, 2019 image from Louisiana State Trooper Dakota DeMoss’ body camera, troopers hold Ronald Greene before paramedics arrived outside of Monroe, La. The video shows Louisiana state troopers stunning, punching and dragging Greene as he apologizes for leading them on a high-speed chase. (Louisiana State Police via AP)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (BRPROUD) – The Associated Press put together a recent story about what they call, beatings and buried videos at the Louisiana State Police.

Interactions between LSP and Ronald Greene, Deshawn Washington, Darrell Smith and Aaron Bowman are highlighted by the AP.

On the same day this AP article was composed, the ACLU of Louisiana said they sent a second letter to the Department of Justice.

That second letter is calling for the Department of Justice to investigate what they call, “Louisiana State Police’s Racist Misconduct.”

“For nearly a decade, LSP has operated under a guise of professionalism and excellence, while it simultaneously demonstrates an unrelenting pattern of brutality and violence targeting communities of color,” said Alanah Odoms, executive director of ACLU of Louisiana. “We can no longer rely on the Louisiana State Police to investigate their own misconduct and violations of the law. Federal oversight may be the only remedy to stop the senseless violence and taking of lives. Louisianans deserve a state police force that protects and serves all residents. With rampant police violence, cover-up schemes, and a lack of accountability for troopers who violate the law, we’re a long way from that reality.”

Additional material from the ACLU of Louisiana cites multiple federal civil rights cases against the Louisiana State Police between the years 2015 and 2021.

Those cases along with ACLU comments are listed below:

  • Boot Man Inc. v. Patout: LSP officers in an unmarked car allegedly beat and seized a lot attendant for putting a boot on their car
  • Groves v. LSP: a man was allegedly illegally pulled over and beaten
  • Price v. LSP: a diabetic man was allegedly unlawfully detained and arrested
  • Thomas v. LSP: a driver, during the course of a field sobriety test, was allegedly repeatedly tased by LSP officers without cause or justification
  • Terrell v. Pichon: LSP officers allegedly tased and then beat a young Black man riding his bicycle
  • Betts v. Brennan: LSP officers allegedly tased a man without cause or justification
  • Smith v. LSP: LSP officers allegedly beat a man to the point where he was unrecognizable—and then passed around pictures of him with the caption: “this is what happens when you run from the police”
  • North Baton Rouge Matters v. City of Baton Rouge and Imani v. City of Baton Rouge: citizens protesting Alton Sterling’s killing were allegedly violently thrown to the ground and arrested by police, including LSP officers
  • Greene v. DeMoss: LSP officers allegedly killed Mr. Greene and then covered it up
  • Bowman v. Sheriff’s Office Ouachita Parish: LSP oversaw the hiring and training of the officers that allegedly kicked and hit Mr. Bowman to the point where he had a head laceration, fractured arm, and broken ribs—among other ailments
  • Frazier v. La. State Police et al.: LSP officers allegedly fraudulently arrested, imprisoned, and issued a fraudulent warrant for the plaintiff, who spent six months in jail for a crime he claims he did not commit
  • Harris v. Brown: LSP officers allegedly knelt on a man’s head and brutally beat him using knee strikes and a flashlight
  • Blake v. Brown: LSP officers allegedly assaulted and battered a man—who was allegedly “not resisting, attempting to escape or being aggressive”—after conducting an illegal search of his vehicle and finding approximately thirteen pounds of marijuana
  • LaBauve v. State: state appellate court affirmed trial court ruling finding that an LSP trooper had used excessive force when he arrested a 76-year-old motorist by putting him face first on rocks and gravel to handcuff him

“There is no external oversight mechanism in existence to initiate training-based reforms within LSP,” said Nora Ahmed, legal director of ACLU of Louisiana. “This coupled with the severity of the misconduct and lack of adequate transparency and accountability demonstrates that, in the absence of a federal investigation, LSP will continue to put Louisianans at risk of constitutional rights violations.

“The DOJ is uniquely positioned to remedy all of the misconduct listed in our formal demand, and the ACLU of Louisiana stands ready to assist the Department however it sees fit.”

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