Despite subpoena, former State Police leader a no-show at disciplinary hearing tied to Ronald Greene investigation
BATON ROUGE - Kevin Reeves, who was the head of Louisiana State Police when Ronald Greene died in troopers' custody, ignored a subpoena and did not show up at a hearing where a State Police whistleblower was trying to overturn his termination.
Trooper Carl Cavalier was fired this year after he spoke out about the incident, which was seemingly covered up at the agency since Greene's death in May 2019. A hearing was held at the Louisiana State Police Commission on Thursday where Cavalier appealed his firing.
Colonel Kevin Reeves was a no-show, prompting Cavalier's attorney to request the former LSP superintendent be held in contempt. Major Jason Turner, a recently retired trooper tied to the Greene investigation, also failed to appear at the hearing Thursday.
"For two former high ranking public officials to thumb their nose at subpoenas lawfully issued by the State Police Commission, I think it's appalling," Cavalier's lawyer Jill Craft said.
The commission said it would consider the motion, though the hearing was continued with plans to resume May 12.
Earlier this year, Cavalier's termination letter specifically cited his interview with the WBRZ Investigative Unit as one of the causes for his firing.
Cavalier was warned in October he would face termination if he continued to speak out about the Greene investigation, specifically for sharing investigative notes from another trooper who was looking into the deadly arrest internally. Those notes, kept by Trooper Albert Paxton, recommended the agency charge the troopers involved in Greene's arrest.
"The officer who drug Ronald Greene face down on concrete before he was killed while shackled got a 50 hour suspension," Craft said. "What's more offensive? Dragging a man face down in shackles yelling and cursing, or my client writing a book of fiction about his experiences as an African American officer in this country."
Also at the hearing, Trooper Albert Paxton, one of the investigating troopers who looked into Greene's death was appealing sustained findings against him. Paxton quit his job after he said he was targeted for telling the truth and not participating in the cover-ups and lies.
"I do think his investigation into the death of Ronald Greene started this and is pertinent in how he was treated along the way," Paxton's lawyer, G Mennon Campbell Jr. told commissioners. "This plethora of allegations against him is really just their attempt to intimidate him from continuing his investigation."
Paxton and Cavalier's hearings were pushed back to May. That's also when the commission will take up the contempt hearing on the two former officers who refused to show up.
Greene's mother attended Thursday's hearing to support the two troopers who fought for the truth. Yet again, she feels like the State of Louisiana has failed its citizens.
"Shame on Louisiana," Hardin said. "Shame on all them for putting Paxton and Cavalier, all the others who have come forward. What I saw here is the same thing in the legislature... defiance of the laws."
Last week, Union Parish District Attorney John Belton said he plans to prosecute the troopers involved in Greene's arrest after getting the go-ahead from federal authorities, who are conducting their own criminal investigation into the matter.
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