The attorney general has made a decision based on a possible criminal act.
My continued sympathy and prayers go out to the Sterling family who have been waiting for justice and closure for nearly two years.
My thanks, appreciation, and gratitude go to every citizen of this community who has demonstrated patience and resilience during this unfortunately lengthy, bureaucratic process.
Yet, during this process, I have not been sitting idly by. First, I met with community members and law enforcement officials which led to the implementation of use of force policy in the standards of the BRPD. Secondly, with the assistance from the Metro Council, I appropriated money to purchase body cameras for every Baton Rouge Police Officer. Lastly, I hired a new police Chief through a community-led process to bring us into a 21st-century era of policing.
As Mayor, it is my responsibility to ensure that our law enforcement officers follow established police procedure. That’s where the Baton Rouge Police Department investigation will now begin and soon conclude a swift and thorough investigation.
I understand the difficult and dangerous situations officers encounter on a daily basis. Their service to our community is appreciated. I am directing the Chief to immediately apply those accepted standards to this situation and take the necessary appropriate action.
I promise all citizens that we will now act swiftly and accordingly. I am confident that the Chief will act expeditiously and fairly in his own investigation.
The people of this parish have been civil in reaction to a long and frustrating process from federal and state authorities.
And now, citizens of this parish have every right to peacefully and publicly protest. Calmly and legally exercising First Amendment rights is always acceptable in this parish, but acts of violence and lawlessness are not.
The attorney general’s announcement closes another chapter, but it is not the last word.
In closing let me say this: since assuming office, I have focused on ideals for justice and principles of equity for all of our citizens. We must all work together to build the Baton Rouge we aspire to. I’ve heard your concerns, I’ve received your emails and your phone calls. My commitment to you is that I will continue to build a progressive, inclusive, and just community. I will be focused, vigilant, and undeterred in that effort.
I ask for everyone to be prayerful as we move forward. Thank you for your support.