Police reform efforts move ahead on two fronts

Louisiana police reform

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Efforts to reform police departments across Louisiana moved forward on two fronts today. The American Civil Liberties Union is looking to launch a battery of lawsuits against police brutality allegations, and the legislature is also getting involved.

In the days after the killing of George Floyd, social unrest was commonplace.

The protests may have died down but the movement to bring change is gearing up.

“We have been abused and beaten and murdered but we have resisted,” said Alanah Odoms, with Louisiana ACLU.

The American Civil Liberties Union has launched a project called the Justice Lab, which is designed to bring multiple lawsuits across the state to sue police departments accused of brutality.

“We’ve enlisted 35 law firms and 17 legal clinics,” Odoms said.

One of Justice Lab’s members is Jasmine Groves, whose own mother was killed by an officer 26 years ago.

“I’m the daughter of Kim Groves assassinated by New Orleans police officer Len Davis,” Groves said.

“We will not win every case but we will send a message that we will no longer turn a blind eye to these abuses,” said Nora Ahmed, with the Justice Lab.

While the ACLU is attempting to flood the courts with police brutality lawsuits, the Louisiana legislature moved forward with its own task force design to reform police departments.

A 23-member task force, consisting of law-enforcement and legislators, held its first meeting, after being formed in the wake of the George Floyd killing.

Lawmakers were told that chokeholds are not a part of police training in Louisiana.

The task force was split into four subcommittees that will report back in November with proposed police reform legislation.

The committees will look at everything from policing methods to community relations.

The ACLU is asking anyone who believes they were the victim of police brutality to give them a call.

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