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Louisiana Senate approves new task force

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BATON ROUGE - During a Sunday meeting, Louisiana’s Senate unanimously approved the creation of a task force that would study and make policy recommendations to improve the training, screening, and de-escalation skills of law enforcement officers.

The task force has until February of 2021 to develop recommendations for lawmakers to consider during their legislative session.

The proposal, which was authored by state senator Cleo Fields, says the purpose of such recommendations will be to “restore the public’s trust that the law enforcement community is serving and protecting all the citizens of Louisiana in a fair and unbiased manner.”

The task force will analyze and address “the disparate treatment of people of color by law enforcement agencies.” 

In the proposal, Fields noted that, “according to a 2016 study published by the American Journal of Health, eight black men are three times more likely than white men to be killed by police intervention.”

A House of Representatives committee approved a similar resolution to study law enforcement tactics last week, but not before Republicans insisted on removing language regarding the treatment of black men by white officers. 

They also stripped out a reference to George Floyd, an African American man whose death at the hands of Minneapolis police helped spur nationwide and even international protests.

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