State Police must change


This letter appeared in the Covington and Slidell editions of the Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana) on 25 June 2000.

This item may be cited as M. R. Franks, Letter to the Editor: State police must change, New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 25, 2000, at 12H4 and 22H4 in the Covington edition and at 12H2 in the Slidell edition.

Copyright © 2000, M. R. Franks

Dear Editor:

If you're wondering why crime is out of control, why respect for our laws is at an all-time low, and why the American people no longer admire the police as they once did, certain state troopers need look no farther than the nearest mirror.

One member of Troop L is being accused of a savage attack on a highly respected Hammond lawyer. The pictures of this older gentleman's face after the trooper got through with him are worth a thousand words, and each of those words tells the ugly story of unmitigated police rage. Yet the officer in question is not yet where he belongs in light of such allegations. No, he sits behind one of the department's desks, still supping at the public trough.

One cannot help but wonder whether troopers' desire to uphold the law is exceeded by their willingness to uphold their own overaggressive cronies. The State Police's mentality and culture are astounding. Perhaps that explains why violent crime in America runs about 10 times higher than in England, this after adjusting for population differences. In England, of course, police still earn the public respect and trust that the Louisiana State Police seems to be losing. They do it by dealing swiftly and severely with police brutality.

Would that our own police departments had the character and courage to do likewise.

M. R. Franks
Associate professor of law
Southern University

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Copyright 2002 by M. R. Franks - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED