Louisiana State Police second-in-command placed on leave for ‘sanitizing’ cell phone

Lt. Col. Doug Cain under investigation in Ronald Greene case

By: - April 8, 2022 2:25 pm
Louisiana State Police second-in-command placed on leave for ‘sanitizing’ cell phone

In the wake of heavy criticism from state lawmakers, Louisiana State Police’s second-in-command was placed on administrative leave Friday pending an internal investigation into his involvement in the alleged cover-up of the Ronald Greene case. 

Lt. Col. Doug Cain has been under investigation for several months after he and two other high-ranking administrators ordered their agency-issued cell phones “sanitized,” or wiped clean of all data, in the wake of the probe into the other troopers seen on video beating Greene, a Black motorist who died in their custody following a vehicle pursuit in May 2019. 

Body-camera footage showed Greene had surrendered and was lying on the side of a Union Parish highway before white troopers kicked, dragged, beat and shocked him with stun guns. He later died in custody, yet troopers allegedly told Greene’s family his death was the result of a crash that ended the police chase. 

Superintendent Col. Lamar Davis, who chose Cain as his second-in-command, had initially declined to place him on administrative leave. On Thursday, however, state lawmakers on a committee that is investigating the Greene case, grilled Davis and urged him to reconsider some of his decisions.

Davis initially defended his decisions as a matter of policy but appeared to change his mind by the end of Thursday’s committee meeting and issued the following statement on Friday:

“This morning, I placed Lt. Colonel Doug Cain on paid administrative leave pending the ongoing administrative investigation into the sanitization of his department cellular device. The decision to place him on leave was made in the best interest of the department to eliminate any questions into the integrity of the investigation. I am confident the investigation will be conducted in a fair and unbiased manner leaving no concerns of its findings.”


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Wesley Muller
Wesley Muller

Wes Muller traces his journalism roots back to 1997 when, at age 13, he built and launched a hyper-local news website for his New Orleans neighborhood. In the years since then, he has freelanced for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and worked on staff at the Sun Herald in Biloxi, WAFB-9News CBS in Baton Rouge, and the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, Mississippi. He also taught English as an adjunct instructor at Baton Rouge Community College. Much of his journalism has involved reporting on First Amendment issues and coverage of municipal and state government. He has received recognitions including McClatchy's National President's Award, the Associated Press Freedom of Information Award, and the Daniel M. Phillips Freedom of Information Award from the Mississippi Press Association, among others. Muller is a New Orleans native, a Jesuit High School alumnus, a University of New Orleans alumnus and a veteran U.S. Army paratrooper. He lives in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, with his two sons and his wife, who is also a journalist.