State lawmakers target police reform; some legislation backed by law enforcement organizations

De-escalation efforts

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Following the murder of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police officer Derrick Chauvin last year, Louisiana law makers called for a task force to come up with suggestions for better policing.

As a result of the Police De-escalation Taskforce, 18 recommendations were made dealing with body cameras, police training, the recruitment of minority officers, banning “no-knock” warrants and choke holds, ending qualified immunity, and making it easier for an officers certification to be revoked after complaints of misconduct that do not rise to the level of criminal charges.

“Today you could be called in and cleared of an issue and then resign,” said Baton Rouge Rep. Ted James. “He can then leave Baton Rouge and go to Port Allen or Lafayette and continue to be a police officer.”

James served on that taskforce. He said the goal was not to be anti-police, rather anti bad police.

“We hear from police officers all the time that no one hates a bad officer more than a good officer,” James said. “So I think the proposals we’re progressing will protect those good officers. It protects the community.”

James said the legislation faces a steep hill before making it to the governor’s desk. While most have received support from powerful law enforcement organizations like the Sherriff’s Association and the state’s Chief’s of Police Association, James said members of LEO unions have started speaking out trying to sway support against the bills.

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