Every time an officer shoots, tazes and/or kills an unarmed person, we are outraged BUT the laws remain unchanged. Too much freedom is given to police in deciding when and how to use their firearm and tazer.
It is decades past time to fix it.
The below bill is the first of a few I will write. The next will address arrest and imprisonment.
The Emailed Pdf Document of the Bill
The Email Sent to the Governor and 3 Caucuses of Congress
I hope you are all well and safe with all that our state has faced in recent weeks.
The focus of this email is a list of names:
Dejuan Guillory, Daranesha Harris, Cameron Tillman, Victor White III, Javon Rakestrau, and the many others who are not killed but who are threatened needlessly every year by law enforcement.
An officer once pulled a gun on me during a traffic stop, demanded my ID and insurance with his weapon pointed at my head. I feared for my life and told him I would not move until his gun was put up in his holster. It took a while for him to agree and we went through the remainder of the stop.
As he started to leave, he still had not told me WHY he stopped me in the first place, so I asked. His response, "One of your headlights was out."
One of my longtime friends was with me and was speechless as we pulled away. These kinds of interactions lead to injury, death and widespread lack of trust in law enforcement.
Part of the problem and perhaps the largest part is that law enforcement has freedoms that are far too broad in the use of their firearms.
Attached is a bill proposal that all states desperately need to consider, but I know that state level decisions are often easier to attain and they set trends that others can follow.
With that in mind, I submit the bill proposal below and I have also sent to the governor's office to start this conversation.
Is this a bill you are willing to support?
We want everyone safe: citizens and law enforcement.
At the present time, citizens are unprotected from the overuse of firearms and tazers by police. An officer only has to say he/she fears for their life or the life of someone else.
Their statement "fear for life" does not require the visible evidence of a gun, only a "feeling." This creates fear and danger in every police transaction
But we have the ability to do something about it and a bill like the one attached would go a long way toward resolving this issue.
The Full Text of the Bill
Important to Note:
There may need to be revisions and additions to ensure this bill truly represents the full scope of our community and state needs.
A Bill to Outline Acceptable and Unacceptable Use of Firearms by Law Enforcement and/or Any Private or Public Security Personnel
The purpose and intent of this title are to provide clear guidelines for law enforcement and/or any private or public security personnel and the public regarding the use of firearms, to increase public trust and safety in and with law enforcement and/or any private or public security personnel.
Eligibility and Exceptions
This bill applies to all persons (citizen and non-citizen) within the borders of Louisiana.
This bill applies to all law enforcement personnel in uniform, out of uniform and undercover, employed by, under contract with, volunteering with and/or otherwise under the orders and/or governance of any Louisiana governing body or any institution operating within the borders of Louisiana.
This bill applies to all persons employed by, under contract with and/or volunteering as security personnel for any institution operating within the borders of Louisiana.
A “civilian” is any person who is not employed or volunteering as law enforcement and/or any private or public security personnel.
A “suspect” is any person suspected of a crime or misdemeanor.
“Law Enforcement” includes all people or groups employed as, under contract as, or volunteering as police, security, or operating within any branch of criminal justice and/or government, including but not limited to, courts, jails, prisons and/or other detention facilities.
Security Personnel includes all people or groups employed or volunteering to provide public security and/or private security and/or provide order, whether for a governmental, public or private entity, business, neighborhood, location or jurisdiction.
A “firearm” includes any weapon that discharges a bullet and is classified as a firearm under the definitions set forth by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
An “explosive” includes any device capable of being ignited or discharged with the intent of explosion as defined by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
This bill becomes effective immediately upon the governor’s signature