BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - After a violent a week that kept the nation on edge, President Obama held an event aimed at bridging the divide between the police and the community.
Gov. John Bel Edwards was in attendance Wednesday along with the superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, Col. Mike Edmonson.
On Thursday, Edmonson said one of the main takeaways from the meeting was that law enforcement needs to take time to reflect on their own actions.
Part of the discussion centered on police training. Edmonson said that police need to re-examine tactics, including how to deal with lethal force, protests and de-escalating situations.
The discussion comes as Baton Rouge and state law enforcement have faced criticism for being overly aggressive in dealing with protesters. A lawsuit was also filed against police by the ACLU of Louisiana Wednesday. Edmonson defended the officers.
"When you've seen that, it's because of an aggressiveness in the crowd. And sometimes, when you see someone do something, you may not effect an arrest immediately," Edmonson said. "Instances with gun pointing were taken care of immediately and those police officers were brought back and dealt with by saying it's unacceptable. We're not about an aggressive force unless it's mandated by the public by their actions."
Edmonson once again said the riot gear used by police was in part a response to threats against members of law enforcement. That includes not only the alleged plot revealed Tuesday, but also a reported threat against a sheriff's deputy. Some protestors were also found to have guns.
Edmonson said that so far, there are no known threats to members of the public. They are continuing to monitor the situation throughout the coming days, including Sterling's funeral on Friday morning.