In terse email, disgruntled State Police commander abruptly retires amid fallout, investigation into death of Ronald Greene
MONROE - The commander overseeing Louisiana State Police Troop F abruptly announced he's leaving the agency as it's mired in controversy.
John Peters was in charge of Troop F when Ronald Greene died in State Police custody in May 2019. He'd most recently been transferred to a highway division within State Police.
Peters wrote in an email to colleagues and obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit, he has had a "phenomenal ride" in his more than 26 years with State Police.
Though, Peters questioned the recent spotlight on the agency that is now the focus of a federal investigation over Greene's death.
News reports have showed State Police attempted to cover up Greene's death and tried to spin liability. Amid WBRZ Investigative Unit reports, internal and federal inquiries have been launched into State Police. Agency officials have been put on leave or demoted amid allegations of wrongdoing.
Peters insinuated there's an internal struggle over information being leaked to the public.
"Shamefully, we have now seen there are those within our own ranks tearing this agency apart from the inside," Peters wrote to Troop F staff. Adding that the national feeling toward law enforcement is already difficult because of an "anti-police media."
State Police confirmed Peters is on terminal leave until he formally retires next month.
In June, the WBRZ Investigative Unit exposed Peters was offering advice about how to prove Greene died in a car crash although State Police body camera video showed Greene alive after a wreck.
Greene died after a police chase where troopers where seen on body camera tasing and beating him. State Police body camera video was leaked and only officially released amid backlash over the agency's handling of the situation.
In the aftermath, Peters emailed lead agency attorney Faye Morrison. He offered an idea: Peters said reconstructionists pulled data from Greene's car and claimed he died of an aortic rupture caused by 19 G's of force. In his email, he claims detectives proved troopers did not cause Greene's death.
Following the publication of that email, Morrison was removed from her position.
Records show Peters was earning $131,672.84 annually. He will take home a lifetime pension of about 95% of that.