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Sources: State Police blocks ex-leader's son from getting coveted new job following WBRZ report

1 year 2 months 3 hours ago Monday, March 20 2023 Mar 20, 2023 March 20, 2023 3:39 PM March 20, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A state trooper who was set to move to a sought-after new job at Louisiana State Police has had his transfer blocked amid renewed outrage over a 2020 wreck that left two girls dead.

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The WBRZ Investigative Unit learned Monday that Kaleb Reeves' transfer to the agency's intelligence division was halted. State Police called the transfer a "lateral move," and said Reeves would not receive a pay increase. However, troopers say the position is highly sought-after and is looked at as a promotion.

Sources said the abrupt change was no coincidence and believe had WBRZ not published a story about it last week, it would have been business as usual Monday. Reeves' father was also the head of State Police until October 2020, when he retired under a cloud of controversy.

"My first thought is why and what is going on with state police as a whole," State Representative C. Denise Marcelle said.

Marcelle compared it to a similar wreck in West Baton Rouge Parish just months ago where two high schoolers died after an officer slammed into their car while chasing a suspect. That officer arrested was arrested within days of the wreck and faces serious charges for the girls' deaths.

"For me, the issue is why aren't we handling each situation the same way. If it's negligent homicide for a West Baton Rouge officer who was speeding, it should be negligent homicide for him."

Reeves was speeding in north Louisiana in October 2020 when he smashed into a car. Kajanay and Ajanay Lindsey, ages 18 and 11, were both killed. The sisters were riding in the back seat of their parents' vehicle.

"I would have thought he would have been fired the first time," Marcelle said. "Or charged with negligent homicide. Multiple cases of him having issues with accidents where he's at fault. I don't think that would happen with the ordinary citizen. I don't think anyone whether it's Kaleb Reeves or anyone is above the law."

Marcelle sat on a committee investigating the death of Ronald Greene in the same LSP Troop where Reeves works. Marcelle said she's still in shock by the testimony she heard after his father had his cell phone erased amid state and federal investigations into Ronald Greene's death.

"I was appalled that they would just lie to us like that and had no transparency," Marcelle said. "Their credibility was just zero for me. When the hearing was over I didn't believe half of them."

Kaleb Reeves's father, Kevin Reeves, resigned as backlash grew surrounding Ronald Greene's death in State Police custody in May of 2019. The WBRZ Investigative Unit uncovered Reeves had his phone sanitized during state and federal investigations into Greene's death.

Reeves' colleagues at State Police think the transfer continues the good-ole-boy network way of doing things and don't think it's a good look for the agency. 

"It's horrible in every way," LSU Law Professor Ken Levy said. "It's horrible optics, it's horrible ethics. There were probably many other well qualified officers that could have been promoted. Why him? It just stinks."

The mother of the Lindsey girls said she could not wrap her brain around the fact that state police would even consider Reeves for this new role.

"He shouldn't be getting promoted," said Sonita Capers, the girls' mother. "He should be in jail. He killed both of my daughters. That was my life, my joy. They were my everything."

WBRZ asked State Police about what changed their minds after Reeves was not transferred. A spokesman said the process was not finalized.

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