ACLU of Louisiana responds to ‘excessive force’ allegations against state troopers

Louisiana News

FILE – This Sept. 25, 2020, file photo, shows a Louisiana State Police vehicle in Louisiana. New court filings show Louisiana State Police troopers joked in a group text about beating a Black man after a high-speed chase last year, saying the beating would give the man “nightmares for a long time.” The May 2020 arrest of Antonio Harris bears strong resemblance to the State Police pursuit a year earlier that ended in the still-unexplained death of Ronald Greene. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Members of the Louisiana State Police allegedly sent out texts to each other that reference a recent car chase on I-20.

ACLU of Louisiana is responding to what purportedly happened at the end of the car chase.

“The ACLU of Louisiana released the following statement in response to allegations that four Louisiana State Police officers from Troop F beat a Black man who had already surrendered following a high-speed chase, and later exchanged several text messages bragging about the incident. The statement should be attributed to ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Alanah Odoms.

“Racism in policing is systemic and deadly. This is yet another vicious account of Louisiana State Police officers brutally attacking an unarmed Black man as he surrendered to them. We are shocked and saddened by the allegations that these officers not only engaged in this disgusting act of violence, but also bragged and joked about it afterward.

This horrifying news underscores the systemic culture of racism and impunity that pervades not only the Louisiana State Police but the very institution of policing – and reinforces the immediate need for top-to-bottom accountability and transformational reform.

Louisiana must finally reckon with the scope and impact of the centuries of police violence and racism Black and Brown people have experienced.

We need to abolish qualified immunity now, and stop shielding officers from liability for constitutional violations, including fatal use of force. The only way forward is to shift power away from police officers, police unions, and their lobbying associations, and to the communities that have suffered the most police violence. We must also establish alternatives to police response for people in crisis. We recommend divesting from current policing budgets and reinvesting in life-affirming alternatives to policing that will keep communities safe.

The ACLU of Louisiana will fight as long as it takes to restore accountability and end the epidemic of police violence against Black and Brown communities once and for all.”

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