Lawmaker says second-in-command at State Police should be placed on leave amid federal investigation
BATON ROUGE - State Senator Cleo Fields is calling for Lieutenant Colonel Doug Cain to be placed on leave following the agency's failure to release his communication involving the Ronald Greene case.
State Police attorneys told WRBZ Friday that communication via email and text messages are part of a federal investigation.
In June, the WBRZ Investigative Unit requested all emails and text messages from Cain involving the Greene case. One day after our request, LSP issued a response saying the records were public and said it would take 45 days to comply with the request.
On Sept. 13, 2021 we reached out again to State Police inquiring about it and received no response. The following week, Sept.23, we asked again and they said they needed a few more days. Last week, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, we asked yet again.
State Police said the records would not be released. "Records pertaining to pending criminal litigation or any criminal litigation which can be reasonably anticipated" is one of the laws they cited.
"The remainder of your request is denied as that matter is currently under federal investigation and any records related thereto are exempt from disclosure," their letter read.
"They knew at the time that you made the request that it was under investigation," State Senator Cleo Fields said. "They should have told you that then. State Police must be transparent. Hiding information is not the way we solve this problem."
Ronald Greene died in May 2019 after leading State Police on a high-speed chase. Initially, State Police told his family that he died in a car crash. However, leaked body camera videos showed Greene was alive and apologizing after he exited the car. A subsequent coverup began, and a number of high-profile transfers occurred within LSP following WBRZ Investigative Unit reports.
"What happened to their son is absolutely wrong," Fields said. "To be told that their son was killed in a single car accident and then to find out that their son was actually killed by the hands of state police, as I've said over and over again, is simply unconscionable."
Fields said with Cain now second-in-command at State Police and the agency refusing to release the emails and texts due to an investigation, Fields believes Cain should be placed on leave.
Fields said it's not a good look to have someone with his rank at State Police under investigation, and could be an even worse look if the agency lied about the investigation in an attempt to not release records the WBRZ Investigative Unit requested.
"We can't have our chief law enforcement agency in the state lying to the general public," Fields said. "We need some integrity."