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Last updated Jan. 20, 2020
No knock warrants
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.
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
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.
Louisiana has not yet enacted a law requiring the recording and cataloging of SWAT team use.
Civil asset forfeiture
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.
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
Louisiana has not yet enacted a law requiring police departments (not state general funds) to cover the cost of misconduct.
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
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
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."
Reckless civil rights violation
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.
Louisiana has not yet enacted a law institutionalizing an independent prosecutor within the state’s Department of Justice for instances of police misconduct.
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.
Mental health response
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
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.
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