The head of Louisiana State Police, Superintendent Col. Kevin Reeves, will retire at the end of this week. The 30-year veteran will leave an agency that has been embroiled in scandals for several years.
The governor said he plans to name Reeves’ successor in the coming days.
The announcement comes on the heels of revelations that a Black man died while he was in state police custody in 2019 and allegations of a law enforcement cover up. The death of Ronald Green has sparked protest and calls for change in state police management as well as a federal investigation, according to the Associated Press.
Troopers initially told Greene’s family that he died on impact when his vehicle crashed during a pursuit outside Monroe. But a civil rights attorney for Greene’s family says body camera footage taken at the scene shows Greene was choked, beaten and repeatedly shocked by troopers following the crash. State police have refused to comment publicly on the incident.
The Associated Press also says it has heard a 27-second audio clip from a responding trooper’s body camera at the scene in which a trooper is heard telling a colleague, “I beat the ever-living f— out of him” — presumably referring to Greene.
Gov. Edwards met with Greene’s family this month and allowed them to watch footage of the incident.
Edwards said he did not ask Reeves to step down because of Greene’s death and noted that the colonel has been planning his retirement since last year.
However, Ronald Haley, an attorney representing the family, believes the timing is not a coincidence.
“I think it’s connected with not just Ronald Greene but all the controversies in the state police since he has taken the helm,” Haley said, referring to Reeves.