Criminal Justice

House petition case: Governor asks court to stop GOP from interfering

Judges forcing in-court appearances are violating the law, disability-rights activists say

BY: - July 7, 2020

Concerned about evictions that are already taking place and fearing an overwhelming wave of evictions on the horizon, a collection of civil rights attorneys, fair housing advocates and disability-rights advocates has asked Louisiana Chief Justice Bernette Johnson to order lower courts to make reasonable accommodations for people who are more vulnerable to COVID-19. In a […]

Caddo Parish grand jury accuses 8 Shreveport police officers of using excessive force

BY: - June 30, 2020

A week after the Louisiana Legislature agreed to study police abuse in Louisiana, a grand jury in Caddo Parish handed up indictments against eight Shreveport police officers who booked two men on drug and weapons charges and running from the police Jan. 24. Caddo Parish District Attorney James E. Stewart said in a Tuesday press […]

House Democrats and 3 Republicans pass George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

BY: and - June 27, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed a sweeping police reform package Thursday night in response to massive civil unrest over police brutality. The package cleared the chamber largely along partisan lines, with 236 lawmakers (mostly Democrats) voting for it and 181 lawmakers (180 Republicans and one Independent) voting against it. Three Republicans sided with Democrats […]

Louisiana Capitol Building

Local public defenders budget reduced in Louisiana Senate proposal

BY: - June 26, 2020

Update: The Louisiana Senate reversed its initial reduction to local public defender offices when it approved the budget Friday afternoon. It moved back to the original public defender funding breakdown drawn up by the Louisiana House. The Legislature is expect to approve the final version of the total state operating budget by Tuesday. The new […]

Ted James

Louisiana Lawmakers support police study – as long as it doesn’t talk about George Floyd

BY: - June 25, 2020

The Louisiana Legislature overwhelmingly supports the study of policing tactics. Lawmakers appear likely to set up a new task force to examine law enforcement practices over the next year — with the goal of recommending legislation to change state policing laws in 2021. But White Republican lawmakers in the House haven’t wanted to link that […]

Cedric Richmond

Rep. Richmond slams Senate GOP’s ‘watered-down’ police reform bill

BY: and - June 25, 2020

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond — a leading voice on Capitol Hill for a major legislative overhaul that would address police brutality against people of color — backed his party’s efforts Wednesday to shut down debate on a GOP police reform bill. The bill — which Senate Democrats blocked in a procedural vote on […]

Louisiana inmate taking out the trash

Coronavirus complicates Louisiana’s use of prison labor

BY: - June 23, 2020

As COVID-19 spread across Louisiana, the state’s prison system shut down educational programs, stopped in-person visits from family, eliminated face-to-face religious services and suspended meetings between inmates and attorneys. But thousands of inmates have continued to be sent to work even as those restrictions on the other parts of their lives were imposed. Louisiana uses […]