Local NAACP letter to SPD: ‘We are not disposable, we are done dying’

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — The local chapter of the NAACP has sent a letter to the Shreveport Police Department about the death of Tommie McGlothen, Jr. and the use of excessive force by police officers.

RELATED: Mayor Adrian Perkins reacts to coroner’s findings in McGlothen case

On Tuesday NAACP officials sent a statement to SPD and Shreveport elected officials demanding that something be done to stop African-Americans from dying at the hands of law enforcement.

You can read a copy of the letter below:

June 9, 2020

Dear City of Shreveport Elected Officials and Shreveport Police Department:

This video is troubling to watch and it reflects why protests are taking place across this country. Our officers are able to use reasonable force when making arrest NOT excessive force. We believe what we see in the video are Shreveport Police Officers crossing the line between reasonable and excessive force. Once again in America, another Black man dies by the hands of the people who we trust the most to protect and serve. We want justice now!

The NAACP has embarked upon our #WeAreDoneDying campaign. We’re determined to push for solutions that will truly help the Black community and other communities of color at this critical time. Our beloved communities are crying out for justice and leaders to address the systematic inequalities that plague our society. Yet, from the White House to Governor’s Mansion, too many elected officials are making policy decisions that ignore the specific needs of our community. Well, enough is enough. We’re done being discriminated against. We’re done being marginalized and ignored. We are not disposable. We are done dying!

The Shreveport NAACP is demanding that the Elected Officials of Shreveport and Shreveport Police Department:

  • Immediate firing of all Officers involved in the Death / Cover-up of Mr. Tommie McGlothen Jr.
  • Modifying and/or implementing a citizen’s review board with subpoena powers to investigate complaints made by the public regarding police officers.
  • Create a more transparent process around accountability of officers who violate citizens’ constitutional rights, police ethics, and departmental policies and procedures by making the officers’ names and their disciplinary records available to the public.
  • Create a policy where officers who discharge their weapon and/or use excessive force on an unarmed person be suspended without pay pending an investigation. The officer’s name, policing history and additional information outlined in public records
  • Ensure transparency, accountability, and safety of communities by requiring front-facing cameras to be actively recording all on-duty police officers. The department should also ensure at least two cruiser cameras are utilized in every cruiser, with one facing toward the street and the other toward the person in custody.
  • Include an emphasis on mental health assessments, de-escalating conflicts, and improving community relations with adequate Mental Health training for SPD Officers by Licensed outside Clinical Mental Health professionals.
  • Ban the use of knee holds and chokeholds.
  • Actively vet applicants and recruit officers who reflect and proportionally represent the community they serve. Use psychological evaluations in the hiring of officers.
  • Provide video of all fatal shootings and arrests, as well as incidents with alleged police brutality, in a reasonable amount of time.

We are done being quiet, done being overlooked, done settling. And we’re willing to fight for as long as it takes to win.

Sincerely,
Michael R. La’Fitte II, Spokesman
Shreveport NAACP

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