BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana State Police’s 99th Cadet Class graduated 51 cadets (48 men and three women) Friday, Jan. 31, making them the newest troopers to join the LSP ranks all across Louisiana.
But the elephant in the room was the investigation into the alleged cheating scandal and possible hazing among the cadet class. It was something LSP officials did not want to touch. Proof of that was when WAFB asked to interview some of the graduating troopers; several LSP spokesmen denied that request.
KIRAN: Why are we not allowed to talk to the graduating troopers today?
COL. KEVIN REEVES: Well, the troopers are celebrating the day with their families and they are having a good day and they are proud of their accomplishments and they are moving forward throughout the day.
KIRAN: You guys are stopping them from interviewing with us today?
COL. REEVES: I’m not stopping anybody from interviewing with anyone.
The 99th Cadet Class is much like any other LSP graduating class, having gone through the rigorous 23 weeks of training, but one thing that sets the class apart is the investigation from October of 2019. Col. Kevin Reeves apologized to the cadets and their families in a news conference over what allegedly happened.
The investigation was launched about six weeks into training. Sources told the 9News Investigators nearly a dozen cadets showed up at area hospitals with injuries like bruises and broken bones, all from the defensive tactic training portion of the academy. Sources also added the cadets were told to hit each other with training pads and in some cases, a trooper assigned to the training academy also allegedly hit cadets with the pads. Plus, we’re told there was a separate alleged cheating scandal involving some tests.
Col. Reeves held a news conference in early October saying they’d launched an internal affairs investigation. Nearly four months later, at the graduation, Col. Reeves acknowledged it’s still an ongoing investigation.
“When we do get the results of the internal investigations, we will be glad to speak more about that,” said Col. Reeves.
At the graduation held at the Istrouma Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, WAFB wanted to focus on the celebrations for the graduating troopers and their families, troopers who train nearly six months and only get to see their families on the weekends. WAFB wanted to ask those troopers what it meant to finally walk across the stage and receive that badge. It’s what WAFB has done for numerous past graduations. But on Friday, several state police spokesmen told us we were not allowed to interview any graduating troopers.
COL. REEVES: I don’t know why you’re not allowed to do it. I think we highlighted them throughout the program today moving forward with their careers and the accomplishments they made in the last 22 weeks.
KIRAN: Colonel, your PIO (public information officer) already told us that we are not allowed.
With that, the colonel walked off as we continued asking questions.