BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A bill inspired by the Alton Sterling investigation has been shelved at the State Capitol.
Under legislation crafted by Rep. C Denise Marcelle, D-Baton Rouge, (HB 834) any officer-involved shooting that resulted in death or severe injury would be sent before a grand jury.
Marcelle filed the bill after Attorney General Jeff Landry chose to not pursue charges against the two officers involved in Sterling's death. Landry, who was handed the case after District Attorney Hillar Moore recused himself, could have sent the case to a grand jury but chose not to.
A grand jury, made up of members of the public, hears evidence related to a potential crime and gets to decide whether or not to file charges.
The Louisiana District Attorneys Association objected to the bill, labeling it "unconstitutional." Pete Adams, the executive director of the association, told lawmakers that "even if it passed, it would be struck down almost immediately."
Supporters argued the bill was about eliminating the "good ol' boy" system of law enforcement protecting themselves.
"We are ignoring a serious problem," said Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge. "And to continue to … do it as we've always done it is wrong."
Facing pushback, Marcelle deferred her bill, taking it off the table for the session. She said she is instead going to be sponsoring legislation creating a task force aimed at evaluating how officer-involved shootings are investigated.