NEW ORLEANS – The ACLU of Louisiana released the following statement in response to allegations that four Louisiana State Police officers from Troop F beat a Black man who had already surrendered following a high-speed chase, and later exchanged several text messages bragging about the incident. The statement should be attributed to ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Alanah Odoms. 

“Racism in policing is systemic and deadly. This is yet another vicious account of Louisiana State Police officers brutally attacking an unarmed Black man as he surrendered to them. We are shocked and saddened by the allegations that these officers not only engaged in this disgusting act of violence, but also bragged and joked about it afterward. 

This horrifying news underscores the systemic culture of racism and impunity that pervades not only the Louisiana State Police but the very institution of policing – and reinforces the immediate need for top-to-bottom accountability and transformational reform.  

Louisiana must finally reckon with the scope and impact of the centuries of police violence and racism Black and Brown people have experienced. 

We need to abolish qualified immunity now, and stop shielding officers from liability for constitutional violations, including fatal use of force. The only way forward is to shift power away from police officers, police unions, and their lobbying associations, and to the communities that have suffered the most police violence. We must also establish alternatives to police response for people in crisis. We recommend divesting from current policing budgets and reinvesting in life-affirming alternatives to policing that will keep communities safe.

The ACLU of Louisiana will fight as long as it takes to restore accountability and end the epidemic of police violence against Black and Brown communities once and for all.”