Sunday, Mar 26, 2023

Biden administration opens civil rights probe of Louisiana police

Biden administration opens civil rights probe of Louisiana police

US investigation will focus on whether state police regularly use excessive force, discriminate against Black people.

The United States Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into the practices of state police in Louisiana, after several recent cases of police violence primarily targeting Black men drew condemnation and calls for accountability.

In a news conference on Thursday, Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general for the department’s civil rights division, said the probe will seek to “determine whether the Louisiana State Police engages in a pattern or practice of violations of the Constitution or federal law”.

It will focus on two main issues, Clarke told reporters.

“First, whether the Louisiana State Police has a pattern or practice of using excessive force. And second, whether the Louisiana State Police engages in racially discriminatory policing practices against Black people and other people of colour,” she said.

The announcement comes as the United States continues to grapple with police violence against Black and other people of colour, a problem that has set off mass Black Lives Matter demonstrations since 2020.

In Louisiana, the deadly 2019 arrest of Ronald Greene, in particular, has spurred calls for justice from residents and civil rights groups.

An investigation by The Associated Press (AP) found that Greene’s arrest was among at least a dozen cases over the past decade in which Louisiana state police troopers or their bosses ignored or concealed evidence of beatings, deflected blame and impeded efforts to root out misconduct.

Dozens of current and former troopers said the beatings were countenanced by a culture of impunity, nepotism and, in some cases, outright racism.

By its own tally, 67 percent of state police uses of force in recent years were against Black people, who make up 33 percent of the state’s population.

Body-camera footage obtained by AP and released in May of last year showed Louisiana state troopers stunning, punching and dragging Greene as he apologised for leading them on a high-speed chase during the deadly arrest.

“I’m your brother! I’m scared!” Greene can be heard telling the troopers as he is jolted repeatedly with a stun gun before he even gets out of his car along a dark, rural road.

AP’s reporting also found that Louisiana police troopers have made a habit of turning off or muting body cameras during pursuits. When footage is recorded, the agency has routinely refused to release it.

A recently retired supervisor who oversaw a particularly violent clique of troopers told internal investigators last year that it was his “common practice” to rubber-stamp officers’ use-of-force reports without ever reviewing body-camera video.

In some cases, troopers omitted uses of force, such as blows to the head from official reports, and in others, troopers sought to justify their actions by claiming suspects were violent, resisting or escaping — all of which were contradicted by video footage.

On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Louisiana, which had called on the Justice Department to launch an investigation into state police, welcomed the department’s announcement.

Executive Director Alanah Odoms said in a statement that ACLU-Louisiana had documented more than a dozen cases of “excessive force and constitutional rights violations against Black and Brown Louisiana citizens in the last five years alone”.

“We also documented discriminatory training practices, a culture of racism within the agency, racial violence directed at the community, and a dangerous cone of silence that inhibits transparent and lawful disclosure of evidence. This systemic misconduct was blessed by top brass at the Louisiana State Police,” Odoms said.

“This commitment by AAG Clarke and the DOJ to identify and remedy systemic misconduct symbolizes far more than a small step, it is a huge leap in furtherance of justice for Louisianans whose rights have been violated by this cruel and corrupt agency.”

Clarke at the Justice Department said the civil “pattern-or-practice” probe is aimed at driving needed reforms, if necessary by suing to implement a federal consent decree.

She added that Governor John Bel Edwards and the head of the Louisiana State Police, Lamar Davis, have pledged their cooperation. The state police did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday from AP.


Related Articles

Singapore’s Prime Minister says China and US need to stabilize relations because world can't afford a confict between the two superpowers
Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel Corporation, died at 94
Powell: Silicon Valley Bank was an 'outlier'
Bordeaux town hall set on fire in France pro democracy protest
Police violence in Paris
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
The US government has charged Chinese businessman Guo Wengui with leading a $1 billion fraud scheme that cheated thousands of followers out of their money.
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
Drew Barrymore
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
Lady bites police officer and gets instantly reaction
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
Senator Tom Cotton: If the Mexican Government Won’t Stop Cartels from Killing Americans, Then U.S. Government Should
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
Givenchy Store in New York Robbed of $50,000 in Merchandise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
Tucker Carlson called Trump a 'demonic force'
Kamala Harris: "The United States has formally determined that Russia has committed crimes against humanity."
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History
White House: No ETs over the United States
U.S. Jet Shoots Down Flying Object Over Canada
Nord Stream terror attack: David Sacks breaks down Sy Hersh's story
Being a Tiktoker might be expensive…
Miracle: El Salvador Search and Rescue teams, with the support of Turkish teams, rescued a woman and a child from the rubble 150 hours after the earthquake
SpaceX, the private space exploration company, made a significant breakthrough in their mission to reach space.
China's top tech firms, including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, NetEase, and, are developing their own versions of Open AI's AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT