BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – The head of Louisiana State Police (LSP) finds himself in the hot seat Friday night after a report from the Associated Press. The report says recently obtained body-cam video shows years of cover-ups and excessive force within the agency.
For over an hour, Superintendent Col. Lamar Davis spoke about accountability, transparency, and the mental health of his department all while trying to inform the public that reforms within Louisiana State Police are taking place.
“When we make mistakes, we are going to own it,” Davis said.
LSP is being accused of lacking transparency after police body camera video took hundreds of days to be released.
“Where I can divulge and explain information, I am going to give it to you all, where I can’t I’m going to tell you I can’t, and I will ask for your patience,” Davis said.
Civil rights leaders from across the state are renewing their push for a federal investigation into potential systematic racism within the agency.
“With the regards to the justice department, if they decide that they are going to come in and assess us, on that, then I welcome that. I’m not going to wait on them, I’m already in contact with other organizations to look at my agency and help us become better,” Davis said.
According to the Associated Press, LSP’s own reporting shows 67 percent of its use of force in recent years has targeted black people.
“We are looking into that, and we are trying to determine whether or not there is a problem targeting. That, we don’t have a clear answer on, but we are reviewing the analytics of that,” Davis said.
Davis says that the agency is focusing on transparency, recruitment, and the mental health of the police.
Davis was asked why a secret panel organized to determine if whether troopers systematically abused Black motorists were shut down. He says that after the existence of the panel was made public it was no longer efficient and he is looking into different tactics to investigate.