The U.S. Department of Justice has launched a civil rights probe into Lousiana State Police following the 2019 deadly arrest of Ronald Greene and other surmounting evidence of repeated use of excessive force on Black men.
On Thursday (June 9), the Justice Department announced the opening of a "pattern-or-practice" investigation into police tactics across the state of Louisiana, as evidence continues to support that cops routinely turn a blind eye to or engage in brutality against Black men, the Associated Press reports.
News of the federal investigation comes after the Associated Press found that Lousiana state police troopers and their superiors have ignored or hid evidence of beatings, shifted blame, and stopped efforts to apprehend misconduct in dozens of incidents for the past decade.
During the AP investigation, current and former officers said the beatings were a result of a culture of impunity, nepotism, and racism.
“We find significant justification to open this investigation now ... We received information of the repeated use of excessive force, often against people suspected of minor traffic offenses, who are already handcuffed or are not resisting,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s civil rights division said.
“There are reports that officers target Black residents in their traffic enforcement practices and in use of force,” Clarke added.
The probe comes three years after white Louisiana troopers beat, stunned, and dragged Greene roadside. No one has been charged for his death.
AP's investigation found troopers routinely turned off and muted their body cameras while on duty. When footage was caught on tape, the agency repeatedly declined to release it.
In official reports, troopers were caught omitting uses of force or justifying their violent arrests claiming suspects were resistant, which all contradicted video footage, according to AP.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and Lamar Davis, the head of Louisiana State Police, have promised to cooperate with the newly-opened investigation, according to Clarke.