The Louisiana Black Caucus is calling on the Department of Justice to conduct a full-scale investigation of state police and root out what they say are systemic practices of racism.  Baton Rouge Representative Ted James acknowledges reform by the new superintendent, Col. Lamar Davis, who is Black, but said he can only do so much.

“He cannot simply continue to reform that agency and restore trust at the same time trying to cover up what we all know is a massive and systemic coverup within that department,” said James.

James said it was five years ago when they gathered at the capitol asking state police to investigate Baton Rouge Police over the death of Alton Sterling. Now they are calling on LSP to be investigated.

“And now five years later we know of Ronald Greene, and Aaron Bowman, and countless other men, fathers, husbands, uncles who became hashtags because of police violence,” said James.

James and members of the caucus say through countless conversations they’ve been told either the laws or rules from the state police commission are keeping certain people from being called into question.

“It bars certain documents from being reviewed. It bars certain disciplines from being reviewed. We don’t have the authority to do it, but we know the federal government has the authority to do it,” said James.

Federal officials are already investigating the fatal arrest of Ronald Greene, the black man who was repeatedly tased and punched, then dragged by officers before his May 2019 death.

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