NEW ORLEANS – As part of a sweeping new initiative to challenge racist policing, the ACLU of Louisiana is asking people victimized by racist policing to come forward as potential plaintiffs to challenge these unconstitutional practices. People who have had negative race-based interactions with the police on or after May 1, 2020 can contact the ACLU of Louisiana’s Justice Lab at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (504) 522-0628 and leave a message.
Justice Lab: Putting Racist Policing on Trial is an intensive litigation effort to challenge racially discriminatory policing practices and combat police violence against people of color. The campaign enlists for-profit law firms and law school clinics to bring cases challenging racially-motivated stops, searches, and seizures under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments and any other applicable laws. By focusing intensive efforts on a single state, the initiative aims to establish a litigation blueprint for altering police conduct across the country.
“Often police are only held accountable after we witness gut-wrenching images of people of color being subjected to intense brutality. But that is often far too late. Justice Lab aspires to hold police accountable for every instance of unconstitutional conduct to the extent the law allows,” said Alanah Odoms Hebert, Executive Director of the ACLU of Louisiana.
Louisiana has the largest ratio of police officers to residents of any state and has the highest incarceration rate in the country. In the past few months alone, local police in Louisiana have shot children in the back, tear-gassed protesters, and brutally beaten a man to death.
“This reality is what drove us to launch Justice Lab right now. We are humbled that, to date, 35 law firms and 14 law schools have jumped on board to help,” said Nora Ahmed, Legal Director of the ACLU of Louisiana. “The ACLU of Louisiana wants to tell the stories of those who every day face injustice at the hands of the police. We want to send the message that we, as a nation, can no longer look away from the racism that rages in our midst. It’s about affirming that Black Lives Matter. Each and every one.”
More about Justice Lab can be found here.
A list of participating law firms and law schools can be found here.