Edwards, law enforcement want peaceful process amid Alton Sterling investigation
BATON ROUGE – Governor Edwards met with local law enforcement and community leaders on Monday to address the relationship between the public and law enforcement prior to the upcoming announcement of the Department of Justice's investigation of the Alton Sterling shooting.
As the Department of Justice is still investigating the July 7th shooting, the discussions on Monday are an effort to prevent more problems when the investigation concludes.
"The folks that were in this room today, having the governor here, having members of the law enforcement community here, means that there's hope in change that this can be a peaceful process," Eugene Collins, member of the Community Outreach Committee, said.
While the meeting did address the issues that happened following the shooting, Governor Edwards said the meeting was not to share any details on the ongoing investigation.
"We have no idea when the Department of Justice will make an announcement on if they will prosecute any officers in the Alton Sterling shooting, and we have no idea of what that announcement will be," Edwards said.
Rather, the meeting was a candid conversation about the changes needed to bridge the division between the community and law enforcement.
"The onus is not just on the students and the young people, and the citizens of the community to know how to act with police, the onus is on the police to understand how to act when interacting with the public as well," Taryn Branson, member of the Messaging Committee, said.
Law enforcement leaders say that there will be a zero-tolerance policy for excessive force and misconduct in place.
"Law enforcement has changed, and its going to continue to change. Aggressive law enforcement is no longer going to be tolerated or accepted, in any way, shape or form," BRPD Police Cheif, Carl Dabadie said.
Dabadie and State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson have new cadets in training. Edwards said that training will now involve more hours and community involvement.