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New State Police superintendent discusses recent controversies in his first one-on-one interview
BATON ROUGE - In his first one-on-one interview, Colonel Lamar Davis talked about a number of controversies that have plagued the state's premier law enforcement agency and culminated in the abrupt retirement of his predecessor, Kevin Reeves.
Davis said his biggest hurdle right now will be trying to rebuild trust.
"There's a lot of distrust from the community and internally," Davis said. " I want to build that trust, and trust who we are and that we are doing the right thing. That's my challenge."
Following controversy after controversy exposed this summer, Reeves refused to discuss any of them with the public before he retired. Under Reeves' watch the WBRZ Investigative Unit exposed August McKay didn't receive any discipline after it was discovered he used the n-word in a phone call to his co-worker. State Police covered that up by initially denying our public request for documents. They finally released them, and it was discovered McKay wasn't disciplined.
"It's very concerning, and what's more concerning is the process that we have in place," Davis said. "Immediately coming into office, one of the things I want to look at is the processes, look at situations like that. We need to look at the entire process, and there were gaps in that process that failed."
Doug Cain is Davis' Chief of Staff. Sources have told WBRZ that Cain was deeply rooted in the past administration, and multiple sources have said that as long as he's around real changes won't happen. Cain is also the one who called WBRZ trying to shut down the August McKay story.
"I understand that, but I've been in every administration that he's been in," Davis said. "I've done my job objectively and I've done it without any issues. I expect the same of Doug. He is my Chief of Staff, and he's going to work as I expect him to."
WBRZ also asked Colonel Davis if he intended to discipline the troopers who were aware that Ronald Greene was beaten to death but did nothing. That shocking case came to light within weeks of the August McKay matter and showed that State Police covered up Greene's 2019 death.
A leaked audio recording from Trooper Chris Hollingsworth surfaced where Hollingsworth admitted to beating Greene before he "went limp." Hollingsworth was served intent to terminate papers after public outcry some 16 months after Greene's death and died in a single-vehicle crash hours later. Many have called his death a suicide.
"That is being handled by the FBI," Davis said. "They will make all statements moving forward."
In addition to the Greene matter, Davis also weighed in on Kaleb Reeves, the son of former Colonel Kevin Reeves, killing two people in what sources called an at-fault crash while he was responding to a call. Kaleb Reeves has not been ticketed.
"What I'm doing is reviewing those cases and the processes," Davis said. "What I want people to understand is this is not something that we take lightly. As I review those cases, I'll make the proper determinations."
Davis said he's excited about restoring the public's trust, as he plans to make changes at State Police. He said he knows that he is the right man for the job.
"As we move forward, what we want to think about, what we try to accomplish - it starts with me and ends with me," Davis said. "That's how I reassure them by every action, every interaction and every communication."
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