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Investigating community mistrust and misconduct inside the Baton Rouge Police Department

Public Health Reporter Rosemary Westwood details a series of attempts in the state legislature to amend Louisiana’s near-total abortion ban. Those proposals have all failed during this year’s legislative session. Yesterday, Republicans in the House Criminal Justice Committee defeated two bills aimed at clarifying pregnancy care under the ban. Republicansalso defeated rape and incest exceptions last week.

Investigative journalists Clarissa Sosin and Daryl Khan dug into complaints of misconduct, complaints, and mistrust of law enforcement in Baton Rouge. Their five-part investigative project, “In the Dark,” was published by the Verite newsroom in New Orleans. Sosin and Khan outline how reporting on the Alton Sterling killing motivated them to look into Internal Affairs as an avenue to get a picture of the trust the Baton Rouge community places in its police. They tell us about their conversations with people who filed against police and we hear how BRPD has reformed since they began reporting.

Also, we speak with trumpeter and music educator Jena Vangel, who is leading efforts to bring live music performances and youth music lessons to Baton Rouge homeless shelters. She leads Community of Note, a group dedicated to putting musicians from a variety of musical styles in front of Baton Rouge’s unhoused residents. Vangel tells us how she believes music helps address a basic human need.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Adam Vos. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber and our digital editor is Katelyn Umholtz. Our engineers are Garrett Pittman and Aubry Procell. 

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:30 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts. 

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Adam is responsible for coordinating WRKF's programming and making sure everything you hear on the radio runs smoothly. He is also the voice of Baton Rouge's local news every afternoon during All Things Considered.