Criminal Justice

Report: Gov. Edwards lets family see video of troopers beating Black man who died

BY: - October 17, 2020

The family of a Black man killed by a Louisiana state trooper met with Gov. John Bel Edwards Wednesday to view long-secret body-camera footage, according to The Associated Press.  The news service quotes the family’s attorney who says the dead man’s mother and sister cried loudly “like they were at a funeral” when they finally […]

Pastor could avoid criminal charges if resolution passes

Lawmaker who attends Tony Spell’s church pushes bill through House that favors the defiant pastor

BY: - October 14, 2020

Louisiana House lawmakers on Tuesday passed a bill that was originally crafted to support a Louisiana church pastor who dared authorities to arrest him when he publicly and repeatedly violated the state’s COVID-19 restrictions; however, legislators amended the bill by replacing virtually all of the text with new language that would prevent an emergency public […]

Louisiana House passes bill that would punish jurisdictions that cut their police budgets

BY: - October 12, 2020

The Louisiana House passed two bills Monday that will punish municipalities and parishes that cut the budgets of their police departments by more than 10 percent in a year. The bills, a response to a national call from anti-police brutality protesters to “Defund the police,” will give the state the option to significantly reduce the […]

Cameroonian asylum seekers said to be one day away from deportation back to the oppression they fled

BY: - October 12, 2020

There is a peaceful room in a safe, joyful home in the Washington metro area waiting for Micah, an English-speaking Cameroonian refugee who spent his 20th birthday on hunger strike in Pine Prairie Detention Center. His 19th birthday was also spent in ICE detention. His uncle, who raised him, has been counseling patience while waiting […]

Louisiana Capitol Building

Louisiana House will consider anti-‘Defund the police’ bills

BY: - October 5, 2020

The Louisiana House will consider two proposals aimed at making it more difficult for local governments and public higher education institutions to “defund the police” — a movement to shift government funding from law enforcement agencies to other services like mental health treatment, early childhood education and addiction programs.  State Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandra, proposed […]

Family of Black man killed by Lafayette police complain of information ‘kept under the rug’

BY: - October 5, 2020

The family of Trayford Pellerin, the 31-year-old Black man who was fatally shot 10 times by Lafayette police on Aug. 21, spoke to the public in a virtual town hall Thursday hosted by the ACLU of Louisiana. They shared new details about Pellerin’s mental health and the status of the family’s lawsuit against the city. […]

Will COVID-19 delay the Supreme Court confirmation hearings?

BY: - October 2, 2020

One of the few obstacles that could prevent Amy Coney Barrett from being confirmed as a Supreme Court justice this year is the coronavirus. That potential threat was on display Friday, when news of President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 test was followed by a similar announcement from U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican who […]

Angola

Louisiana Lawmakers may undo law that helps ‘juvenile lifers’

BY: - October 1, 2020

Louisiana legislators said they made a mistake earlier this year when they passed a new law making it easier for some people given lifetime prison sentences for crimes they committed as minors to be released. They are looking to undo the part of the new statute that just took effect in August and helps so-called […]

Louisiana Lawmaker wants to make it more difficult to ‘Defund the Police’

BY: - September 29, 2020

State Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandria, has proposed legislation to withhold state construction dollars from higher education institutions and local governments who try to “defund the police”. If it became law, local governments and higher education institutions would be required to submit their law enforcement budgets to the Legislature’s joint budget committee by Nov. 30 each […]

White police chief in videotaped beating of Black man was never investigated for his role in attack

BY: - September 29, 2020

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Edwin Bergeron’s brother is on the civil service board. Although they share the same last name, they are not related. HAMMOND — Police Department internal affairs documents show Chief Edwin Bergeron was never investigated for the 2017 beating of Kentdrick Ratliff, undermining statements made by […]

Trump picks Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court, and D.C. girds for a fight

BY: - September 26, 2020

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump at the White House on Saturday introduced federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee, setting off a confirmation battle that could secure a conservative court for generations.  “She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect and sterling credentials and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution,” Trump said […]

Louisiana Capitol Building

Louisiana police reform task force looks to NOPD for training model

BY: - September 23, 2020

Members of the legislative Police Training and De-escalation Task Force met with two New Orleans Police officers on Tuesday to discuss a training program that requires officers to intervene when witnessing a colleague’s misconduct. The program recently received backing from Georgetown University’s law school and is being considered for statewide adoption.  NOPD Deputy Chief Paul […]