Louisiana Lawmakers Petition DOJ To Investigate State Police

Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

A coalition of Black state lawmakers in Louisiana petitioned the US Department of Justice on Tuesday (July 6) to conduct an investigation on the state police. The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus sent a letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, The Associated Press reported, detailing the “gross misconduct” and “pattern of cruel and excessive brutality” shown by the state police force.

The push for the federal investigation comes after a video of the 2019 killing of Ronald Greene by state police officers surfaced earlier this year. Lawmakers also want investigators to look into police’s use of force on Aaron Bowman, who was reportedly brutality beaten with a flashlight by the same unit involved in Greene’s killing. 

“We’re asking for a full-scale, top-to-bottom patterns and practices investigation,” Caucus chair Rep. Ted James, a Democrat from Baton Rouge said during a press conference.

A federal investigation into Greene’s killing is already underway, the outlet reported, though the agency hasn’t commented yet on the lawmaker’s call for a wider investigation into the whole department. 

Under Garland’s leadership, the DOJ has launched investigations into the Minneapolis and Louisville police departments. Activists and community members in Ohio have also called on the federal agency to conduct investigations into police there following the police killing of Ma’Khia Bryant.

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