From Louisiana State Police
Statement from Colonel Kevin Reeves, State Police Superintendent:
I have been asked by family, friends, colleagues and members of the community to share my thoughts in response to the tragic death of George Floyd. Generally speaking, the Louisiana State Police has avoided commenting on the police actions by other agencies. That job, historically, has been left to the court system. However, the last two weeks have demonstrated that these are different times which require us to respond differently.
Let me be clear, police brutality in any form undermines the good work in public service and constitutional policing performed by the Louisiana State Police, along with our law enforcement professionals across our state and our country. Incidents of police brutality, such as George Floyd, shock the conscience and questions the basic humanity of those who violate our solemn oath. This misconduct undermines the public trust in law enforcement and chips away at the very foundation of public safety and service.
The Louisiana State Police takes pride in our processes, our training and the work of our Troopers. We are committed to recruiting, training and retaining the most professional law enforcement officers in the state. This effort includes:
• A hiring process that includes an extensive background check, polygraph and psychological evaluation
• Ongoing de-escalation training
• Extensive use of force training including classroom and practical application
• Effective communication
• Professionalism and leadership
• Legal requirements for law enforcement
• Community engagement and education
• Racial profiling training
• Early Identification System (EIS) to identify and act upon concerns regarding employee conduct
• Disciplinary Review Committee to review all administrative cases and determine appropriate discipline.
In the wake of the reprehensible death of George Floyd, the Louisiana State Police, working with our parish and local public safety partners, have been actively assessing protests across the state to ensure the safety of the protestors, the public and property.
These protests have spanned from St. Bernard to Shreveport, from Monroe to Lake Charles and many points in between. The crowd numbers have ranged from a dozen to thousands. Louisiana citizens are showing up in mass to exercise their constitutional right to peacefully protest and ensure that their voices are heard and that public officials are listening.
We not only support these efforts; we are committed to safely facilitating these efforts. These protests have been overwhelmingly peaceful and I am very proud and appreciative of our citizens.
There is no place for violence, destruction of property or obstructing a major highway or interstate that threatens the safety of the protestors or the motoring public. We believe in an open dialogue with organizers and participants to ensure that we are all on the same page and moving in the right direction together.
Police brutality will never be tolerated by the Louisiana State Police and we hold ourselves accountable for violations of the public trust. We will listen to and address the concerns of the people we serve.
I remain grateful for the sacrifices of and confident in the services provided by the State Troopers, DPS Police Officers and LSP Investigators with whom I serve.