Louisiana

What to do here

Click a "Get Template" button to get an email template about a specific issue. Edit the template to connect on a more personal level with your lawmaker. See the Contacting Logistics page for information about how to write an effective email to your lawmakers. Get your lawmakers' emails with the search box to the right. Send the email!

Be sure to check out the Next Steps at the bottom of the page. Go to the References/Further Reading page to see our sources and do some research of your own.

Last updated Jan. 20, 2020

Summary

Key:

Legislation Achieved

Some Progress

No Progress

  • Demilitarization

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes

    No knock warrants
    1033 program
    Military-style training
    SWAT data

    Louisiana a

  • For Profit Policing

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes

    Civil asset forfeiture
    Quotas
    Cost of misconduct

    Louisiana b

  • Broken Windows Policing

    Minor offenses
    Objective justification for stops
    Reporting stop details

    Louisiana c

  • Accountability

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes

    Reckless civil rights violation
    Independent investigation
    Qualified immunity

    Louisiana d

  • Reinvesting in Communities

    Mental health response

    Education, housing, and community health resources

    Louisiana e

Demilitarization

Learn about demilitarization and the specific issues below on the Demilitarization page (opens in a new window).

 

No knock warrants

No Progress:

Louisiana has not yet enacted a law eliminating the use of no-knock warrants. In fact, in July 2019, a West Baton Rouge officer shot a man in the head during the execution of a no-knock raid. Prosecutors in March 2020 indicated that they would not bring charges against the officer in question. That officer returned to work in July 2020.

1033 purchases

No Progress:

Louisiana has not yet enacted a law ending its participation in programs that facilitate the transfer of military weapons from the federal government to police departments.

Military style training

No Progress:

Louisiana has not yet enacted a law refocusing training away from self-defense responses and towards community centered training like that offered by Blue Courage.

SWAT data

No Progress:

Louisiana has not yet enacted a law requiring the recording and cataloging of SWAT team use.

For Profit Policing

Learn about for profit policing and the specific issues below on the For Profit Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Civil asset forfeiture

No Progress:

Louisiana has not yet enacted a law ending civil asset forfeiture. Louisiana law enforcement retains 60% of forfeiture revenue, while 20% goes to a criminal court fund and the other 20% goes to the district attorney's office.

Quotas

Achieved:

Louisiana law states "No municipality or any police department thereof, nor any parish or any sheriff's department thereof, shall establish or maintain, formally or informally, a plan to evaluate, promote, compensate, or discipline a law enforcement officer on the basis of the officer making a predetermined or specified number of any type or combination of types of arrests or require or suggest to a law enforcement officer that the law enforcement officer is required or expected to make a predetermined or specified number of any type or combination of types of arrests within a specified period."

Cost of misconduct

No Progress:

Louisiana has not yet enacted a law requiring police departments (not state general funds) to cover the cost of misconduct.

Broken Windows Policing

Learn about broken windows policing and the specific issues below on the Broken Windows Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Minor offenses

No Progress:

Louisiana has not yet enacted a law decriminalizing minor offenses that do not threaten public safety such as spitting and loitering. Locally, the New Orleans City Council passed a measure in December 2020 to require officers to issue municipal summonses, rather than make arrests, for a variety of non-violent minor offenses.

Objective justification for stops

No Progress:

Louisiana has not yet enacted a law requiring officers to establish objective justification for making a stop (i.e. not simply for furtive movement, suspicious activity, or matching a generalized description).

Reporting stop details

No Progress:

Louisiana has not yet enacted a law requiring comprehensive reporting of police stops (noting location, race, gender, whether force was used and whether a firearm was found). In 2001, Louisiana passed a law requiring law enforcement agencies to collect and publish data on traffic stops. However, a 2018 report by the SPCL highlighted that almost all LA police departments disregard this law. The Department of Public Safety and Corrections has never written a report summarizing this data, despite requirements outlined in the 2001 law, because "no Louisiana law enforcement agency has ever submitted the necessary data to make a report."

Accountability

Learn about accountability and the specific issues below on the Accountability page (opens in a new window).

 

Reckless civil rights violation

No Progress:

Louisiana has not yet enacted a law lowering the prosecution requirement from ‘willful’ to ‘reckless’ deprivation of another’s rights. State law explicitly permits the use of deadly force in arrest and self-defense standards as long as the officer can 'reasonably' explain the use of such force.

Independent investigation

No Progress:

Louisiana has not yet enacted a law institutionalizing an independent prosecutor within the state’s Department of Justice for instances of police misconduct.

Qualified immunity

No Progress:

Louisiana has not yet enacted a law ending qualified immunity. In October 2020, Rep. Edmund Jordan sponsored HB 51, which would have stripped officers of their immunity from civil liability, but the legislation died in committee.

Reinvesting in Communities

Learn about reinvesting in communities and the specific issues below on the Reinvesting in Communities page (opens in a new window).

 

Mental health response

No Progress:

Louisiana has not yet enacted a law creating and funding a mental health task force available to respond to crisis calls (in lieu of police). 43 more states in the US spend more than Louisiana on mental health care per capita. Some police departments have been/are training in ways to more effectively respond to mental health crisis, but this has not improved the situation statewide by a significant degree.

Education, Housing, Community Health Resources

No Progress:

It is important to note that policing does not address the roots of social disadvantage and barriers to (economic) opportunity that often lead to crime. Nor should police be burdened with that responsibility.
Without access to quality resources in healthcare, education, and housing, our cities, neighborhoods, and families will continue to suffer. We should instead reassess the budgets of the state government and reinvest in the services that matter most.

Next Steps

No matter what, register to vote:

Contacting officials is just one piece of the puzzle we can't stop there. We need to make sure our elected officials reflect our values and support reform at every level of government. Register here:

To keep these policies at the forefront:

Keep emailing about them (if you just finished the 5 Days Challenge, keep up the schedule—set reminders in your phone to email about each issue on its specific day).

To ask for more than this:

Use our templates as a model to ask for bigger changes. Color for Change and The Movement for Black Lives both have specific policy related to a reimagined law enforcement system. If you think there are additional policies we ought to consider, send your thoughts our way.

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