BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus is making a national call to look into the Louisiana State Police and its practices. This comes after new details in the Ronald Greene case revealed some information may have been covered up in the investigation.
The Black Caucus said in a press conference they are going to be sending a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and ask for a full-scale investigation into the Louisiana State Police. Caucus members said they want answers and actions to be taken to make sure what happened to Greene does not happen again. They want a “top-to-bottom” investigation from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to find if there are systemic violations to civil rights and to give recommendations on how to make a change.
“Not just into Troop F, into the entire Louisiana State Police,” Rep. Edward ‘Ted’ James II said.
Officers have come under internal investigation after stating Greene died from injuries in a car accident in 2019, but body cam video released this year showed officers beating Greene repeatedly while handcuffed. Rep. James said there are more cases than Greene where officers have overstepped the use of force on people of color. The federal investigation, if approved by the DOJ, would be in-depth the practices by state police and those involved with the agency.
“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 practice to make sure that what we are seeing in the state police is eradicated,” Rep. James said.
Troop F, where the Greene case took place, is under a new colonel and some reform is taking place. Rep. James said it is too much work for one man to uncover possible civil rights violations in the whole agency with both current and former officers.
“We know and understand that there may be troopers who are no longer state troopers but we’re still paying their retirement,” Rep. James said.
He did not comment on if Governor John Bel Edwards or the State Police are in favor of the request, but they were made aware of it.