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Part Two: One-on-One with LSP Superintendent Lamar Davis

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 6:15 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Superintendent of Louisiana State Police says his experiences growing up have influenced policy changes at the agency.

“When I grew up, I grew up in a low socioeconomic environment,” said Davis. “When the police came into my neighborhood, they weren’t necessarily friendly.”

Davis explained the agency’s new implicit bias training in an exclusive interview with KNOE Reporter Tyler Englander.

Superintendent Lamar Davis: “It’s designed to really bring to the forefront what those biases are. When you look at a different person from a different culture, different background, and you perceive to act in a certain way, because of that information that you’ve now formulated or that bias that you formulated, that may impact how you deal with that person. Sometimes that puts us in a position to deal with people in a maybe unjust, unfair environment.”

“So it’s important for officers to understand that, yeah, you may have a bias. Understand that going into a situation. That way, you can really look at yourself before you take any action towards a citizen. Then we can reach the best outcome by you having more information about you and that culture or community. That provides us a better opportunity to have a better interaction with our citizens and reach a positive outcome.”

Tyler Englander: “You also mentioned that you guys are developing a de-escalation training. What’s going to be included in that training? How is that going to prevent excessive use of force incidents going forward?”

Superintendent Lamar Davis: “Instead of moving towards tactics immediately, looking at a situation, understanding that situation. Some of those situations that we come across now is dealing with people that may be emotionally or mentally handicapped. If they have certain issues, then by knowing certain information on how to deal with those situations, then that would help us to not automatically move towards an aggressive posture. Maybe talk them that down as opposed to going in again, like stormtroopers and moving to arrest.”

“We’re taught to mitigate and remove the imminent danger or mitigate the risk. Sometimes, we put ourselves in a position where we increase that risk by going in a certain way. By having a look at some of those other areas that we’re not used to and we haven’t trained for, that will give us the knowledge to basically reduce that posture.”

Part Three of KNOE’s conversation with Superintendent Davis will air on October 22nd. Davis will address how LSP will investigate excessive use of force cases going forward.

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