Today marks the 2years since the shooting death of Alton Sterling by Officer Blane Salamoni. Since then legislation has been passed to try to address the gap in trust between some Louisiana communities and law enforcement. Baton Rouge Representative Ted James says they’ve had some initial success with programs aimed at increasing training for cops on how to interact with communities they serve.
Representitive James says he is getting a lot of request for the new curriculim. New cadets are telling him they appreciate the deeper dive into what's actually happening in the community.
But James says there’s still a long way to go to repair that bridge. He documented several recent cases that he says are troubling examples of officer misconduct that are going unaddressed by authorities, cases that are challenging the relationship between Baton Rouge citizens and police.
James says ,"We've had young men that have been attacked by dogs, we had former episcoal high graduate with a gun pointed in their face, there are so many issues that is hurting the trust we are trying to establish.”
James singled out the need to reevaluate the role of police unions in protecting officers who may have committed offenses. He says while the new, diverse group of cadets entering the force is showing great promise, he’s concerned by the attitudes of veteran officers who’ve resisted the changes.