As Louisiana State Police Col. Lamar Davis imposes maximum 720-hour suspension to his predecessor’s son, public outcry erupts over lack of termination and criminal charges.

WBRZ (Channel 2)’s investigative reporter Chris Nakamoto covers the 720-hour suspension handed down by Louisiana State Police Col. Lamar Davis regarding a fatal crash at which his predecessor’s son, Kaleb Reeves, was deemed at fault.

We have little doubt that Louisiana State Police (LSP) Col. Lamar Davis has been able to spend precious little time performing the agency’s core functions as a result of the extensive drains on his time to deal with problematic troopers over whom he assumed command in early October of 2020.

After all, since then, alleged domestic abuser Michael Satcher, who has received little public attention outside of Sound Off Louisiana, resigned on December 18, 2020.

Jacob Brown, son of former LSP Chief of Staff Robert Brown, who had a plethora of alleged deployments of excessive force and lying on police reports and whom LSP Academy Records indicated never should have been hired as an LSP Trooper in the first place, resigned in disgrace about six weeks ago.

Days later, Kasha Domingue, who shot an unarmed man in the back,  was terminated.

Randall Dickerson, one of three LSP Troopers who successfully obtained a Temporary Restraining Order stopping investigations of his and the other two troopers’ alleged use of excessive force when making arrests (the order was subsequently dissolved), resigned about two weeks ago.

We are aware of other disciplinary matters entailing LSP; however, because of conflicting statements entailing whether at least one such matter entailed the trooper resigning or being terminated, we have pending public records requests with LSP which should resolve that issue, after which we’ll certainly report on it.

We are also awaiting the receipt of pending public records requests prior to publishing our next feature on the Air Support Unit of LSP.  Additionally, we are pausing our planned multi-feature coverage of former Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC) member Calvin Braxton until we’re able to clarify a few outstanding issues thereof.

With the disclosures from the preceding paragraph out of the way, we believe we have received reliable information indicating that Davis likely yet faces additional disciplinary matters pertaining to Troops L (Mandeville/Covington) and B (New Orleans).

We’ll have more to say on those matters entailing troops L and B in a subsequent feature which, being blunt, is the feature we referenced near the end of our Billy Broussard “sneak a smooch” feature (which has itself exceeded our expectations of the level of viewership of that feature).

We stated at the end of that feature that we expected the aforementioned feature on LSP to be out in “three or four days.”  The reality is that obtaining the material we deem necessary to proceed with that feature (which can’t be obtained from LSP but certainly does exist) has proven far more difficult than we anticipated.  Nevertheless, everything is now starting to jell for that feature, and we expect it out soon.

Now on to today’s feature, which has already been covered in the usual excellent manner by WBRZ (Channel 2 in Baton Rouge)’s investigative reporter Chris Nakamoto.  So, let’s go ahead and present Nakamoto’s excellent coverage below:

WBRZ investigative reporter Chris Nakamoto’s  April 16, 2021 feature entailing LSP Col. Lamar Davis imposing the maximum 720-hour suspension on Kaleb Reeves, the son of former LSP Col. Kevin Reeves (CLICK HERE for the documents Nakamoto references entailing Reeves’ past wrecks with LSP).

All anyone has to do is read the public commentary beneath Nakamoto’s feature and listen to what colleague Sylvia Weatherspoon says as she introduces Nakamoto’s feature to know there is most definitely a public outcry concerning the absence of criminal charges against Reeves for his latest wreck and the two young lives lost as a result.

That fact, as Nakamoto makes obvious, is reinforced by the fact that a motorist who caused an accident two months ago entailing similar circumstances IS facing criminal charges.  Several LSP sources have also told us in no uncertain terms that Reeves should have been terminated rather than, “merely suspended for 720 hours.”

All we can add to Nakamoto’s feature and the commentary we’ve received entailing a perception of lack of adequacy of consequences for Kaleb Reeves is that, given that the Legislature had to carve out an exception for Reeves to be hired in the first place AND given the fact that his father disregarded his promise and awarded his son Kaleb a prized detective position LONG before other troopers were eligible for such a position, we can only revert back to the words of Col. Davis that “the public is getting the perception that police offices are being treated special.”

To reinforce that notion, just take a few moments to examine the incredible number of promotions then-LSP Col. Kevin Reeves awarded to those whom he would need to sign off approving his son obtaining the detective position.  They’re all readily available for anyone’s viewing pleasure at the link we just provided.

Predictably, Doug Cain (then public information officer under Reeves) called Sound Off Louisiana’s Burns to explain that Kaleb Reeves obtaining the detective position was, “not a promotion but a mere lateral move.”  Further, the matter was obviously sensitive enough that LSP Legal Counsel Faye Morrison reduced Cain’s words to writing on December 20, 2018.  Although that correspondence to Burns included an invitation to feel free to call her if Burns had any questions, the very same day, December 20, 2018,  Morrison made it crystal clear via email to Burns that any further inquiries entailing Kaleb Reeves obtaining the detective position should be, “directed to Major Cain or Lieutenant Manale.”

Who knows?  Perhaps Reeves was tossed into a detective position in an effort to minimize his time on the road given his utterly horrendous driving record not only with LSP but, as Nakamoto points out, at his prior position with the Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office.  At any rate, for reasons unknown and subsequent to our feature linked above, Kaleb Reeves was transferred back to patrol.

Of course, this is not the first instance in which having a horrendous driving record failed to inhibit a major promotion (or even “lateral transfer” as Cain insisted was the case with Reeves and the detective position) at LSP.  In fact, former Gov. Bobby Jindal opted to name Mike Edmonson as LSP Colonel (at the DIRECT behest of the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association, which has a long history of calling the shots on LSP’s operations), and we’ll just begin to wrap this feature up by providing links for Edmonson’s horrendous driving record prior to being appointed LSP Col.  Here they are (we threw in one non-driving episode as lagniappe):

LSP Edmonson disciplinary file links:

1.  Reprimand for crashing LSP vehicle and being at fault.

2.  10-Day Suspension for violating payroll protocol.

3.  Letter of reprimand for careless operation of vehicle.

4.  40-Hour Suspension for “not being aware of
 your condition” behind the wheel and crashing yet another
vehicle (with it being a total loss).

5.  16-Hour suspension for careless operation of vehicle.

Now, lest anyone think that Jindal is the only Governor with an “Edmonson stench” associated with his name, we make the following observation:

When another blogger inquired of then-candidate for Governor, John Bel Edwards, in 2015 regarding whether he intended to reappoint Edmonson if he were elected Governor of Louisiana, Edwards responded in writing that, “I’ve not made a decision.”

Then, at the celebratory party on the night of Edwards’ 2015 victory, at least according to Edmonson, Edwards approached Edmonson and said, “I never even considered appointing anyone as Colonel but you!”

Edwards only made his reappointment of Edmonson far worse in the choice he made in appointing his successor (Kevin Reeves).

Given the massive extent of the cancer that quietly permeated LSP during Reeves’ entire tenure, it’s really ironic that he would characterize the timeframe prior to his appointment as, “the darkest days State Police has had,” (see 16:09 mark of the just-linked video), and yet during his administration, LSP, by any objective assessment, got massively darker than it was when he was appointed.

Furthermore, in sharp contrast to Reeves’ words on that video (trust us, it’s worth it for Louisiana citizens to watch the entire Reeves video linked in the preceding paragraph), regarding his commitment to, “hold LSP accountable,” his administration did anything but, and at no time was that fact made more evident than when Reeves himself wrote a letter to The Advocate imploring the paper to “move forward” entailing its LSP coverage.

That letter was timed to coincide with the departure of then-Advocate reporter (now AP reporter) Jim Mustian, who was doing a superb job of attempting to “hold LSP accountable.”  Mustian still is doing a superb job in that regard, and he now has the added advantage of a broader platform to expose LSP’s deficiencies.

It is a very difficult challenge to try to “hold LSP accountable,” but we at Sound Off Louisiana and other media outlets mentioned in this feature are certainly trying to give it our all to do just that!

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