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Baton Rouge Police to address nationwide concerns regarding police brutality

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BATON ROUGE - For decades, people of color and members of marginalized communities have spoken out against police brutality, highlighting cases of innocent civilian deaths at the hands of law enforcement.

But many felt their voices went unheard.  

That changed when George Floyd was murdered by police officers on Memorial Day; after video of Floyd's killing went viral, citizens across the nation, and world, expressed outrage by protesting with a fervor that many believe parallels the civil rights protests of the 1950's and 1960's. 

The cry for justice reached Baton Rouge, inciting city leaders to highlight the need for reform among law enforcement and government entities, and to take steps to make such reform happen. 

On Monday, The Advocate reported that East Baton Rouge Mayor-Presdient Sharon Weston Broome said she believes the city's police union has obstructed efforts to hold officers accountable when their behavior indicates they're not fit to serve the department.

"I'm going to be very transparent because now is not the time to hold back," Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said on the local radio show "Talk Louisiana" with Jim Engster. "Unfortunately as we try to make transformation within a system … many times the union is an obstruction to weeding out the bad cops. Every police officer isn't a bad cop and we know that. But there are some who shouldn't be in the police department."

The Mayor went on to say she does not plan to defund the Baton Rouge Police Department, saying, "I need to be explicitly clear. That is not my plan at this time. We need public safety. … My plan is to bring consistent reform to the police department and to make sure that we look at our dollars and cents."

Broome, who was elected only months after the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling outside a Baton Rouge convenience store, pressured Carl Dabadie to step down as chief shortly after she took office.

Once Dabadie stepped down, she replaced him with current Police Chief Murphy Paul.

Chief Paul, no stranger to issues related to police reform, is expected to hold a press conference to discuss ongoing police reform efforts in Baton Rouge. 

The meeting is scheduled to take place Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., at Baton Rouge Police Headquarters. 

Incidentally, Paul was one of the first police chiefs nationwide to issue a public apology for what he described as "policing practices that have traumatized parts of our community."

Since Floyd's death and the subsequent civil unrest, numerous police chiefs around the country have done the same. 

WBRZ will air the BRPD Press Conference as it takes place Tuesday afternoon. 

Watch it on Channel 2 and WBRZ +. 

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