ACLU of Louisiana: Video of Baton Rouge Police Officer Restraining a Child with Banned Chokehold Maneuver Shows Need for Systemic Reform

Affiliate: ACLU of Louisiana
February 23, 2021 11:15 am

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NEW ORLEANS – The ACLU of Louisiana reiterated its call for systemic reforms to policing in response to a video showing a Baton Rouge police officer restraining a juvenile using a chokehold, a maneuver that has been banned by the Baton Rouge Police Department since 2017.

“We are deeply saddened by the images we’ve seen on this video, and we’re also exhausted. For generations, Black children have been racially profiled and brutalized at the hands of law enforcement, and enough is enough,” said ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Alanah Odoms. “This incident is yet another reminder of the urgent need not only for reform and accountability, but for a fundamental reimagining of the role of policing in our communities. As we’ve seen, banning chokeholds did not stop this child from being brutalized, and incremental reform will not end the epidemic of police violence in America.

We must dismantle the machinery of white supremacy and police brutality from the ground up. Individually and collectively, we have the power to lead changes in the laws, policies, practices, and culture that have done so much damage in Black and Brown communities.”

Racial justice is a core priority of the ACLU of Louisiana and the organization works in communities throughout the state to raise awareness about the legacy of white supremacy, confront racial injustice, and hold police accountable. Last year, the ACLU of Louisiana launched Justice Lab: Putting Racist Policing on Trial, an intensive litigation and storytelling effort to challenge racially discriminatory policing practices and combat police violence against people of color. The campaign enlists for-profit law firms and law school legal clinics in bringing cases challenging racially-motivated stops and seizures under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments and any other applicable laws.

The initiative continues to seek plaintiffs to bring cases challenging unconstitutional policing, and encourages anyone who has experienced police misconduct in Louisiana, such as excessive force, wrongful arrest, racial profiling, or illegal search and seizure, to contact Justice Lab at 504-350-0100.

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