‘#JusticeForTommie’ protest in Shreveport calls for independent police review board, other measures

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Organizers of a march for justice for a man who died in the custody of Shreveport police shared a list of demands during the protest Saturday that includes a citizens review board independent of the police department to review police actions in the city.

Also on the list of demands is an audit of the police department to be conducted by that independent review board, the establishment of quantifiable criteria for what it means to be of good moral character in order to become a police officer and a test for racial bias.

Hundreds turned out for the ‘Justice for Tommie’ protest, which organizers described as a call for action against police brutality and systemic racism, noting that “Shreveport is not immune to these injustices.”

George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. These are three black Americans who have lost their lives to police brutality and systemic racism, but there are hundreds more. Their names ring out across the country even though their voices never will again. Our home, Shreveport, is not immune to these injustices. Tommie McGlothen, Anthony Childs, Marquise Hudspeth. These are all individuals who have lost their life at the hands of SPD. Our protest will be held in honor of Tommie McGlothen, a black man who lost his life in police custody on April 5, 2020. Two witnesses described seeing officers beat a handcuffed black man. This does not match the report that police offered. They claimed Tommie was found with bruises but no serious injuries. Yet when his two sisters arrived at his funeral, his nose was broken, his jaw was broken, and his eye was swollen. They claimed he resisted arrest. Yet witnesses claimed they saw no sign of a struggle. Something isn’t adding up, and we want justice.

We, The People

The Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the McGlothen case. Neither the DA’s office or SPD are commenting on the details, but Chief Ben Raymond has confirmed that the officers involved in that incident are not on leave while the investigation continues.

RELATED: Community gathers for prayer vigil in advance of Shreveport protest at Little Union Baptist Church

Saturday’s demonstration began with a press conference at 12 p.m. at the federal courthouse on Fannin Street and continued with a march to the Shreveport City Court on Texas Avenue, next to Shreveport Police headquarters.

Organizers called for protesters to come in peace, warning that infiltrators will be escorted away by security. They have also been reminded to throw away their trash and wear a mask.

During his Friday afternoon briefing, Gov. John Bel Edwards said he was glad to see that demonstrations across the state in the wake of George Floyd’s death have been peaceful and urged protesters to take precautions as they continue to exercise their rights amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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