Louisiana Senate advances proposal for policing tactics task force

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BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — Louisiana state senators gave unanimous support Sunday to legislation that let a task force study police practices, after George Floyd’s police-involved death in Minneapolis last month.

The Senate voted 34-0 for state Sen. Cleo Fields’ concurrent resolution, which heads now to the House for consideration.

The measure would bring state legislators, police leaders and academics together to discuss racial bias and “eliminating bad actors” in policing. The task force would begin meeting Aug. 15 and submit recommendations to the Legislature by Feb. 1.

A similar resolution by state Rep. Ted James passed a House committee last week and goes next to the full House. The panel only advanced his proposal after removing a preamble that referenced Floyd and other black men killed in police altercations.

“I’ve never seen a more racist document than the one you brought,” state Rep. Dodie Horton (R-Hautghton), who is white, told James, who is black.

“For those of you who are offended by the words, just look at me and think how offended we are by the actions,” James replied.

The policing task force resolutions are not the only legislative items propelled by recent tensions between police and civilians. Last week, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed state Rep. Tony Bacala’s bill to “amend the crime of battery of a police officer to include the throwing of water, other liquids, or human waste.”

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