Urban League of Louisiana Response to Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus Request for U.S. Department of Justice Probe into Louisiana State Police
“The Urban League of Louisiana fully supports the call for a U.S. Department of Justice-led investigation of the practices and patterns of the Louisiana State Police. We participated in the Police Training, Screening and De-escalation Task Force that developed some of the significant policy reforms passed during the 2021 session, and while we are proud of this progress and the actions being taken by our local policymakers, we believe that the level of investigation that the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus is asking for can only be provided at the federal level.
As an organization with civil rights and social justice at the heart of its mission, the Urban League of Louisiana supports bold action that safeguards and protects the civil rights of Louisiana’s residents and works to amplify the voices of the African American community. This summer the Urban League of Louisiana, in partnership with the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, will engage in the annual statewide Listen and Learn Tour, where we will hear local perspectives on key issues in communities across Louisiana. Criminal justice and police reform are consistently brought up by concerned residents, and we seek to lift up their concerns in our advocacy for change. The Urban League of Louisiana’s call for action, since the release of bodycam footage of the murder of Ronald Greene, has been answered by over 20,0000 people who signed a petition asking for all troopers involved to be immediately terminated and arrested on charges that are appropriate for the crimes committed.
The attention of the highest level of our nation’s government can provide a thorough assessment of what is happening inside the Louisiana State Police organization and what needs to take place in order to activate sustainable, systemic change. It is long overdue for our state and the Urban League of Louisiana hopes a comprehensive understanding of the issues will result in expeditious and demonstrable reform.”
Judy Reese Morse,
President and CEO, Urban League of Louisiana
IN THE NEWS
Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus asking U.S. Department of Justice for a top to bottom probe of Louisiana State Police
(July 6, 2021/Times-Picayune/Advocate)
EXCERPT – State Rep. Ted James, chair of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, said the group is sending a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland asking him to order the type of “pattern or practice” investigation that could end in a consent decree, where the feds mandate police reforms.
“I think we owe it to the people of our great state to have the federal government come in and do this full-scale top-to-bottom patterns and practices investigation to make sure what we are seeing happening at State Police is eradicated,” James said.
AP: Body cam prompts new look at what killed Ronald Greene
(July 7, 2021/Associated Press)
EXCERPT -The FBI is taking the unusual step of ordering a new look at the autopsy of Black motorist Ronald Greene.
The re-examined autopsy is part of a federal civil rights investigation that has taken on new urgency in the nearly two months since The Associated Press obtained and published the video of Greene’s arrest. Federal prosecutors also met with his family last month and made clear they plan to present the case to a grand jury by the summer’s end.
“They wanted to emphasize to the family that they’re serious this time,” said the family’s attorney, Lee Merritt. “Their new enthusiasm is based on the public pressure that’s come from the release of the videos.”