Louisiana Police Unit Under Investigation For Allegedly Targeting Black Motorists For Abuse
A Louisiana State Police unit is currently under investigation for allegedly targeting Black motorists and abusing them, reports confirm.
A secret panel has been established to investigate a specific unit of Louisiana State Police troopers, the Associated Press reports. The police unit that is under investigation is the same unit that was involved in the alleged killing of Ronald Greene in 2019. That case was recently given increased media attention after video surfaced showing how troopers allegedly stunned, punched and dragged Greene before he died after a struggle with the officers. Now the panel is looking into the supposed systematic abuse of Black motorists by the same unit.
Along with Greene’s death, it is being reported there are also three other alleged violent stops of Black individuals. In one instance there is officer body-cam footage that allegedly shows a man being punched and stunned by officers before he is then picked up to his feet by his hair. In another case, a Black man was allegedly handcuffed and then beaten by the officers, while in another case a man was apparently bludgeoned in the head with a flashlight 18 times.
Aaron Bowman is one of the alleged victims of this unit who was supposedly beaten with a flashlight, which left him with three broken ribs, a broken jaw, a broken wrist and a gash to his head that required six staples. ‘Every time I told him to stop he’d hit me again,’ Bowman told the Associated Press. ‘I don’t want to see this happen to nobody – not to my worst enemy.’
The investigating panel, which began working in secret just a few weeks ago, is focusing on Louisiana State Police Troop F. The group of 66 officers has developed a reputation for allegedly committing cruel and vicious acts. Some of these past occasions have led to felony charges against some of the troopers. Now the panel is going through thousands of body-camera videos from the past two years. So far, 12 troopers have been the focus of the investigation, four of which were allegedly involved in Greene’s arrest.
Former prosecutor and president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, Rafael Goyeneche, says he expects there could be much more than just those reported cases: ‘You’d be naïve to think it’s limited to two or three instances. That’s why you’re seeing this audit, which is a substantial undertaking by any agency. They’ve got to identify these people and remove them from the organization.’
The investigating panel is comprised of seven people from various parts of the Louisiana State Police. Within the thousands of videos of body camera footage, they are looking for excessive force and examining if there are any racist tendencies they can identify. This includes whether or not the officer chose to turn off their body camera at a specific moment or if there is anything they can identify that suggests they were attempting to hide a crime.
No deadline has been set on when results of the investigation are expected.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images
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