NAACP meets with Ouachita Parish Sheriff on body cameras

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 10:13 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Members of the Ouachita Parish Chapter of the NAACP met with Ouachita Parish Sheriff Jay Russell to encourage the use of body cameras by deputies.

The meeting comes weeks after the group sent the Sheriff’s Office a letter regarding the matter.

Ambrose Douzart is the chapter’s president.

“The outcome of this meeting was great,” Douzart said. “We’re looking anywhere from three months to several months down the road that possibly we are going to be able to witness it being implemented.”

Douzart thinks the use of body cameras can increase the public’s confidence in law enforcement.

“We believe that body cameras will help strengthen and reinforce that trust that possibly was injured or lost,” said Douzart.

The NAACP also believes body cameras can increase officers’ accountability when it comes to their interactions with members of the public.

“Two wrongs don’t make one right,” Douzart told KNOE. “Two stories, that body camera will be able to tell the true story.”

Douzart added that body cameras don’t just hold officers accountable, it can actually help them.

“We want to be able to say, those are our sheriff’s,” Douzart explained. “They are doing things in the proper perspective that citizens can be proud of.”

Several law enforcement agencies already use body cameras, including Lousiana State Police and the Monroe Police Department. Douzart says the NAACP is hoping for a more concrete policy regarding body cameras.

“Not only across the state, obviously across the nation,” Douzart indicated. “We are in the time right now that a lot of things are occurring. Ouachita could be just that great role model to help implicate. It’s needed, it’s worth it, and we’re talking about lives.”

KNOE reached out to the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office for this story, but they declined to comment.

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