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State Police suspended lawyer for discussing Ronald Greene-related probe

9 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago Tuesday, April 05 2022 Apr 5, 2022 April 05, 2022 7:16 AM April 05, 2022 in News
Source: The Advocate

BATON ROUGE - A Department of Public Safety attorney assigned to investigate alleged wrongdoing at Louisiana State Police was punished last year for allegedly discussing details of the probe. 

Jennifer Murray was suspended three weeks without pay after she was accused of sharing details related to the audit of State Police's Troop F, which was under scrutiny for a series of beatings involving Black motorists

The committee was formed to review thousands of hours of body camera video from that troop, which polices the Monroe area. Troopers there faced accusations of racist policing, specifically how they treated Black motorists like Ronald Greene, whose death in police custody is at the center of a criminal investigation and was seemingly covered up at State Police. 

The audit committee included seven members, five of them state troopers. All of them signed non-disclosure agreements barring them from discussing the audit outside of certain high-ranking employees at State Police. 

“They focused on her because she was one of the only non-troopers on this panel,” Cliff Ivey, a lawyer for Murray, told The Advocate

The agency said it looked into each member of the committee after some of the video reviewed by the group leaked in May 2021. While the report didn't specifically outline what footage circulated, that's around the same time video of Ronald Greene's arrest was obtained and published by the Associated Press.

While Murray was not accused of leaking information to reporters, disciplinary records said she talked about the committee with a colleague. That same colleague alleged she heard Murray discussing it with someone else on the phone. 

The report goes on to say Murray discussed the committee with her boss, who was not supposed to know about the panel, to explain why she was clocking overtime.

Murray's discipline was overturned Monday after a state Civil Service officer determined State Police failed to lay out when the alleged violations actually occurred. But Murray's attorney said his client already served her suspension. 

In response to questions related to the suspension, a State Police spokesperson told The Advocate that Murray was "in no way specifically targeted due to her position." The agency declined to comment further, citing a potential appeal of the Civil Service decision. 

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