Part One: One-on-One with LSP Superintendent Lamar Davis
MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Superintendent of Louisiana State Police is speaking out following several high-profile excessive use of force cases. Davis spoke exclusively to KNOE’s Tyler Englander about the agency’s new Duty to Intervene and Body Camera policies.
Superintendent Davis: “Looking at best practices around the nation, and looking at some of the incidents that happened here at my agency as well as across the nation, I found that I needed to empower our officers, our troopers, to act accordingly.”
Tyler Englander: “Let’s say there was a situation where an officer was using excessive force. It would be on the other officers there. It would be their responsibility to try and stop that use of force?”
Superintendent Davis: “It’s not use of force, but excessive force. If there’s an officer, from our agency or any agency that’s, again, going against any part of the Constitution, any part of our state laws, federal laws, and our policies, then yes, it would be that officer, or that troopers responsibility to intervene and stop that officer from doing so.”
Tyler Englander: “You also said that you guys have enhanced accountability when it comes to body cameras. How so?”
Superintendent Davis: When I looked throughout our agency and some of the incidents that took place in our agency, I found that there are several gaps in which we had. One being the policy itself. Our initial policy said that supervisors would review their personnel’s body-worn cameras and car cam’s periodically. Well, that’s not a definitive timeframe. Periodically can be whenever they deem necessary. We put in a policy that says that you must review a minimum of four of your personnel’s body-worn camera and car camera videos quarterly. That puts a mandate on it. Now, if you fail to uphold that mandate, now I’m going to hold the supervisor accountable. But beyond that, you must review their reports critically and make sure that their reports align with their video. If it doesn’t, then not only holding that trooper accountable, and now holding the supervisors accountable. So by doing that, what it does is it makes the trooper more responsible because they now know that their videos will be watched by supervisors. It’s a mandate. It’s in the policy. And it also makes that supervisor more accountable because they now know that they will be disciplined if they fail to uphold their part of their duties and responsibilities.
Part Two of KNOE’s conversation with Superintendent Davis will air on KNOE 8 News at Five, Six, and Ten on October 21st. Davis discussed new training programs that are required for all troopers.
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