SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – It’s been four days since the release of the video of the brutal beating of Tyre Nicols, and Monday night local activists voiced their concerns.
“You allow an officer of the law to run rampant without any accountability that creates total mistrust in the system by the citizens.” says the Vice President of the Louisiana State Conference NAACP, Lee Jeter Jr. “And that’s what we are dealing with today. A total mistrust of all law enforcement agencies because of the conduct of a few.”
Local advocates are calling for police reform, some saying incidents like this are nothing new.
“The situation itself was horrific. It should have never happened,” says Calvin Lester, the Director of Multicultural and International Affairs at Southern University in Shreveport. “People should be able to have interactions with law enforcement without somebody dying.”
“At the end of the day you still have an African American male that is still being brutalized and murdered by a law enforcement officer in the position of authority, regardless of the race of that individual officer,” said Jeter Jr.
They say Incidents like these happen because habits are ingrained in how African American neighborhoods are policed.
“When you have police being aggressive in minority neighborhoods you have these types of incidents. So I don’t think it was racially motivated, but I think it was racially motivated from the perspective of this is a symbol of what happens when you over police a community,” said Lester. “I’m glad that they were quick in the prosecution of this case to make a charging decision going forward with the prosecution of this case. I think it is necessary.”
He hopes incidents like these open the eyes of law enforcement officers to prevent them from happening in the future.