When the Constitution was written, “We the People” did not mean all of us. Slavery created a legacy of oppression for Black people that is woven into our institutions today — from education and health care to the criminal legal system. We need structural reform to dismantle the deep-seated racism and inequity that permeates our institutions — including law enforcement.
Black people are over-policed, overrepresented in jails and prisons, and disproportionately subjected to police brutality. In the wake of the countless Black lives lost at the hands of police, we’re demanding justice and fighting for a reimagined vision of policing in America — one that limits the scope, power, and responsibilities of police. Valuing Black life doesn’t just mean spending less on police — it means investing more in Black communities. To create a world where “we the people” truly means all of us, we must dismantle systemic racism and work to repair centuries of harm inflicted on communities of color.
In 2020, the ACLU of Louisiana created Justice Lab: Putting Racist Policing on Trial, an intensive litigation and storytelling effort to challenge racially discriminatory policing practices and combat police violence against people of color. The campaign enlists for-profit law firms and law school legal clinics in bringing cases challenging racially-motivated stops and seizures under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments and any other applicable laws.
Through direct legal representation and community advocacy, Justice Lab aims to create a partnership among directly-impacted people, communities, private law firms, and legal clinics to challenge racially discriminatory policing practices in Louisiana. The initiative seeks to empower directly-impacted families and communities in taking on this fight.