Former Louisiana State Police Col. Kevin Reeves.
On Tuesday, October 27, 2020, former LSP Col. Kevin Reeves abruptly announced his “retirement” effective Friday, October 30, 2020. The preceding link is an absolutely outstanding feature by WBRZ (Baton Rouge Channel 2) investigative reporter Chris Nakamoto who, in a little over three minutes, managed to cover numerous instances of apparent corruption and cover-ups within LSP. Because that feature is so thorough and succinct, we want it to serve as the video we provide for this feature. Here it is (from the preceding link):
Feature airing on WBRZ (Channel 2) on October 27, 2020 in which investigative reporter Chris Nakamoto covers controversies surrounding outgoing LSP Col. Kevin Reeves, who “retired” on Friday, October 30, 2020.
Though Nakamoto covers a litany of problematic matters at LSP in the above feature, no doubt the Ronald Greene matter, which we broke on September 10, 2020, was the biggest factor contributing to Reeves’ sudden and abrupt “retirement.” In the video above, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards states that the media will have to “ask him (Reeves)” to find out why he retired and why so little time (three days) transpired between his announcement and the retirement itself.
Most any decent reporter realizes posing such a question to Reeves would be a complete exercise in futility because, in the highly unlikely event he would be willing to return a reporter’s phone call for inquiry, he would utter the same old worn-out excuse all such high-profile folk use upon departure of, “Well, it was time for me to spend more time with my family…blah, blah, blah.”
We believe we may have a more concrete reason, and that reason has surfaced in the ongoing Federal civil litigation filed by Ronald Green’s estate through his daughter.
The initial response, acting through their attorneys, from LSP troopers named as defendants in the litigation entailed motions to dismiss or to force Greene’s attorneys to “state a more definite statement.” LSP relies upon the Doctrine of Sovereign Immunity granted by the Eleventh Amendment of the U. S. Constitution to support its dismissal motions.
In the event the Court may be disinclined to dismiss the case, LSP attorneys seek a more definite statement. They assert that the initial lawsuit filed by Greene’s estate is, “so vague and ambiguous that defendant cannot reasonably prepare a response.” Each trooper filed essentially identical motions on September 14, 2020: Dakota Demoss’ motion and Kory York, Floyd McElroy, John Clary, and John Peters’ motion. The Court set an October 5, 2020 deadline for Greene’s estate to respond to the motions.
The attorneys for Green responded by amending the original petition on the Court-imposed deadline of October 5, 2020. Then-Col. Kevin Reeves was added as a defendant in the litigation, as were “five Does” (and that’s not the female deer variety) being as-yet unnamed LSP Troopers or “related institutions” who are alleged to have conspired with Reeves to cover-up Greene’s death. The LSP attorneys asked for a “more definite statement,” and the amended lawsuit would appear to provide it. From the amended lawsuit:
71. Colonel Reeves was aware of the true nature of the officer’s unconstitutional conduct. that the officers engaged in an unnecessary and vicious assault of Greene that resulted in his death.
72. Despite knowing that officers under his command had murdered Greene, Colonel Reeves permitted the officers to continue to function as officers.
73. Despite knowing that officers under his command had deprived Greene of his constitutional rights Reeves refused to produce or release bodycam footage, dashboard cam footage, discharge logs, use of force reports or any number of investigative materials that would reveal the unconstitutional conduct.
74. For more than 14 months, Colonel Reeves engaged in an active effort to portray Greene’s death as car accident, refusing to allow any information about the incident to become public.
75. The purpose of Colonel Reeves’ refusal to produce or release bodycam footage, dashboard cam footage, discharge logs, use of force reports or any number of investigative materials was to deny Plaintiff the right to institute an action to redress the deprivation of Greene’s constitutional rights.
76. Colonel Reeves conspired with the officers to misrepresent, conceal, and obfuscate the true nature of their unconstitutional conduct.
77. The purpose of Colonel Reeves’ misrepresentation, concealment, and obfuscation was to deny Plaintiff the right to institute an action to redress the deprivation of his constitutional rights.
The lawsuit also contains the damning words uttered by the late LSP Trooper defendant Chris Hollingsworth which were initially released by AP reporter Jim Mustian on October 1, 2020 (four days before the amended lawsuit was filed). Mustian is a former Advocate reporter who covered LSP’s apparent improprieties with dogged determination, so much so that Reeves authored an Advocate editorial which barely concealed his utter glee at the departure of Mustian from The Advocate. The damning words are also on prominent display on the Nakamoto feature above. Again, from the amended lawsuit:
63. Master Trooper Hollingsworth confirmed the vicious and unconstitutional nature of the Officers’ conduct by confessing that he choked and “beat the ever-loving fuck” out of Greene until he was spitting blood and went limp.
Hollingsworth’s attorney, Scott Wolleson, filed a suggestion of death entailing Hollingsworth on October 26, 2020 complete with a statement from Ouachita Parish Coroner Chief Investigator Warren Lee in which he (Lee) indicated that a death certificate would be released later which would convey the “final cause and manner of death.” Four days later, on October 30, 2020, the Hollingsworth death certificate was entered into the record as an exhibit. It lists the cause of death as “multiple blunt force injuries” and officially classifies the manner of death as “accident.”
We would respectfully suggest that it is these new allegations providing a “more definite statement” entailing former LSP Col. Kevin Reeves’ role regarding Ronald Greene’s death that prompted his abrupt retirement. We would also suggest that is the rationale for why Gov. Edwards, despite stating on the above Nakamoto video that he, “has complete confidence in the Superintendent of State Police, Kevin Reeves,” found the grease getting a little too hot for Edwards’ comfort level where Reeves was concerned. We believe that is why he was so evasive when questioned about Reeves’ imminent departure from LSP.
Finally, if the allegations contained in the amended civil lawsuit against Reeves are true, it would be our suggestion to Reeves (along with some other LSP Troopers, some of whom appear to be anticipated to be added as defendants to Greene’s civil lawsuit at a later date) that he have on speed dial a good criminal defense attorney. We can suggest two for his consideration: John McClendon and Lewis Unglesby. Of course, despite Unglesby’s incredible talent, which we’ve witnessed first-hand in the courtroom, even he couldn’t manage to get former Louisiana State Senator (and convicted felon) Larry S. Bankston off even in a criminal-friendly venue like New Orleans.
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