Lawmakers outraged at high-ranking trooper’s testimony in Greene case
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The second-in-command at Louisiana State Police (LSP) declined to answer any questions from state lawmakers about why his state-issued cell phone was turned in and later wiped clean amid the ongoing investigation into the death of motorist Ronald Greene.
Greene died in 2019 following a pursuit by Louisiana State Police that ended with him crashing his vehicle near Monroe. Body cam footage shows troopers on the scene then tasering and beating Greene and later dragging him by his ankles. The agency is accused of trying to cover up exactly how Greene died.
A committee of Louisiana state lawmakers has been convened to investigate the death and allegations that some members of Louisiana State Police tried to cover up certain facts about the case.
Louisiana State Police LTC Doug Cain was called to testify before the committee Tuesday morning.
Cain was asked why, in the year following Greene’s death, he turned in his state-issued cell phone. Cain’s phone was later sanitized, meaning the data contained on it was wiped clean, LSP leaders have said. That would include any text messages Cain might have sent regarding the Greene case. Around the same time, at least two other members of LSP also turned in their phones, which were also wiped clean. That included former LSP Superintendent Kevin Reeves and former LTC Mike Noel. Reeves and Noel are no longer with the agency.
Cain said he was informed earlier this month, on March 4, that he is being investigated by the LSP Internal Affairs Division about him having his phone sanitized. However, the phones were not turned over to Internal Affairs until yesterday.
Cain told lawmakers he could not answer questions about his phone because of that ongoing Internal Affairs investigation.
That reply set off a chain reaction of angry responses from lawmakers on the legislative committee. Some said that the timing of the Internal Affairs investigation seems suspiciously convenient to prevent Cain from answering questions from lawmakers about his phone. The chairman of the committee, Rep. Tanner Magee called Cain’s explanation “malarky.”
“This is a clear attempt to not be transparent,” said Magee.
Representative Debbie Villio said she believed the last-minute announcement of an Internal Affairs investigation into Cain’s cell phone was nothing short of a “ploy” by State Police to not be transparent.
State Representative Jason Hughes told Cain he did not find his testimony before the committee to be forthcoming. Hughes told Cain he thinks he should volunteer to be placed on leave, with pay, while he is under investigation by Internal Affairs.
“I don’t see how there can be trust in State Police where you actively remain in your role as the number two man,” said Hughes.
“I have nothing to hide,” said Cain. “I have done nothing wrong and I believe that will come out in the course of this investigation.”
Magee replied that he looks forward to “hearing about that in 2028,” insinuating that it might take that long for the investigation to be complete.
Following Cain’s testimony, the current LSP Superintendent, Colonel Lamar Davis, was called to answer questions from the committee. Davis was asked about why the Internal Affairs probe into Cain’s cell phone only got underway this month. Davis said he ordered that the incident be looked into by Internal Affairs after recently hearing from lawmakers on the committee that the matter should be investigated.
Davis also said he does not believe Cain should be placed on leave.
Click here to report a typo.
Copyright 2022 WAFB. All rights reserved.