02/17 - Black & the Blue | Louisiana Public Square | LPB
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02/17 - Black & the Blue

What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve?

Last year’s shooting of an African-American male in Baton Rouge by two white police officers re-ignited a national debate on how law enforcement interacts with minority communities. Nationwide demonstrations were ultimately marred by the targeted ambush of 12 white officers in Dallas and the killing of three members of law enforcement in Baton Rouge. What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve? How can Louisiana’s Capital City productively move beyond these events? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on a special town hall edition, “Black & the Blue”.


The panelists are:
• Fr. Rick Andrus, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Together BR
• Darrell Basco, state president of Fraternal Order of Police
• Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President of Baton Rouge
• Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge; Public Safety Task Force
• Stephanie Riegel; Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney; LSU Manship School of Mass Communication professor, Robert Mann; and Southern University Director of Alumni Affairs, Robyn Merrick, host the program.

Our Panelists:

We want to know your opinion! Leave your comments in the box below.


We already know there is no simple answer, or no one answer that fits The Black & Blue Model or perception “as presented online” by Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB), Louisiana Public Square; a Community Dialogue. 
Dialogue and real change are key to any future result or solution; but not dialogue as propaganda which is not followed with an investment or substantive action.  In other words, just talking about it will not get anything done.
Its good there is an interest in solving the long standing problem of why some Communities don’t trust Police and why some Police don’t trust some Communities.
My take, my real time view, “that while the confusion seems to between Communities and Police”, the actual core problem is that some Police don’t trust Police and that deep within some Police organizations the motives of some in leadership, are built upon the same precepts as criminals or personal agendas that blur lines; it’s simply human nature; rooting them out is the task at hand.
On the other hand, some Communities don’t want help, chaos and mistrust is crucial to their illicit activity; in other words “telling the Police anything”, means lost income or lack of illicit gain.
Our reality, both the illicit side of the Community and bad Police are a minority, but their impact cannot be disregarded. 
The work at hand is getting both illicit sides, Community and Police to be held accountable under the Law; our irony, this is nothing new.
So when you focus in on Communities or the Police and you ask what’s the problem or how can we help, you first have to swallow, “am I curled in a corner in fear of speaking up, or do I passively provide approval of the illicit behavior through my actions”? 
In other words, don’t just complain about illicit activity via Social Media, participate in the Solution by showing up at Private and Government sponsored events and tell your story. 
If in the solution seeking phase, either side blames the other or is unwilling to share in their role toward change, then the effort is futile; then, this dialogue merely gets archived along with bios and pictures of the panel concerned, and then added to their resume; I’m positive that’s not their motive. 
If this discussion has meaning, then by its actions and endurance that we’ll recognize it; if it is anything else, then we will soon forget.
Question at hand, as a Society or Community and as a state “Louisiana”, can we see ourselves as a Leader for National change or do we represent the epitome of what’s wrong, when it comes to Community Policing?

Posted by Christopher Lehman  on  02/21  at  04:26 PM

I want to take the time to say that I did make the meeting (Black & Blue)...The Alton Sterling case is just one example of abuse of power by LAW ENFORCEMENT. The meeting was informative… I didn’t get a chance to speak…to maybe get some feedback on how can we get some accountability for the amounts of pepper spray being used on citizens with no way of knowing or tracking how much pepper spray an officer uses in a shift (How much in a week, how many cans an officer is using with no accountable. Pepper Spray is a weapon and officers should have some type of responsibility, check and balance. Is there a check and balance in place for the amount of pepper spray being used by departments or can an officer just use as
much as he / she wants. Just like the bullets need to be accounted for, the amounts used from a can and amounts of cans used by officer(s) on a given shift.

PEPPER SPRAY IS A WEAPON JUST LIKE A GUN USED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AND MUST BE ACCOUNTED FOR, BECAUSE OFFICERS ARE USING PEPPER SPRAY UNNECESSARILY TO HARM, HURT CITIZENS, BECAUSE THEY FEEL ITS EASIER TO GET AWAY WITH, BECAUSE IT DOESNT LEAVE ANY VISIBLE PUNTURE WOUNDS, BUT STILL INFLICTS GREAT PAIN, HARM AND AGONY. EACH TIME PEPPER SPRAY IS USED BY AN OFFICER THERE SHOULD BE A WRITTEN REPORT OF THE INCIDENT ALSO. 

Thanks,
The Mitchell Family

Posted by Mr.G.Mitchell  on  03/06  at  11:27 AM
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     08/17 - Studying TOPS

Is TOPS a worthwhile incentive or a middle-class tax break?
Louisiana’s TOPS program provides free in-state college tuition for qualifying students. Up until recently, TOPS has covered the full amount so as tuition rose, so did the award. The state’s cost of funding the program has nearly tripled over the last ten years.

Students entering their senior year of high school this fall will face new regulations. TOPS awards will no longer automatically rise as tuition increases. That means TOPS recipients and their families will pay for the difference unless the Legislature specifically votes to raise TOPS again.

A legislative task force will study how to sustain the program this fall. So, is TOPS a worthwhile incentive or a middle-class tax break? Should TOPS be based on financial need? Should GPA standards be raised for recipients? Should TOPS graduates be required to stay in the state or pay back the award? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Studying TOPS” Wednesday, August 23 at 7 p.m. on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recording Tuesday, August 22)
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