SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – His name is still chanted during demonstrations calling for police reform in Shreveport.
“He’s not alone. There’s a thousand of them as Trayvon martin, Michael Brown, the list goes on.”
Marquise Hudspeth was fatally shot by Shreveport police officers 17 years ago.
“When I saw George Floyd there on the ground with that officer’s knee, the first thing that came to mind, the more things change, the more they remain the same.”
Watching the video of Floyd’s death brought back painful memories for Hudspeth’s uncle.
“Back to Saturday, March 15th 2003. 11:35pm on the corner of Hearne and Midway at Circle K, when two officers shot and killed my nephew. Shot him in the back.”
Dr. Michael Taylor says SPD still has a lot of work to do nearly two decades later.
“Better screening of police officers, better background checks on these officers.”
After the death of Floyd SPD has added additional deescalation training and the use of choke holds have been banned, but for Taylor that just isn’t enough.
“The focus of law enforcement should be not to arrest and not to kill, but to preserve peace if possible. When that’s not possible layer one, layer two, layer three.”
He wants officers to engage with the community.
“Become a part of the community and not just showing up when there’s a crisis.”
According to him, change must first begin at home.
“The ultimate solution is not with white law enforcement or even the police department, the burden lies with us as African Americans to do something about the core issue and that’s at the family level.”
Taylor doesn’t want another family to have to go through the loss of a loved one at the hands of law enforcement.