Friends and family display photos and calls for justice for the death of Ronald Greene while in LSP custody in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 11, 2019.
When we first broke the secrecy of LSP entailing Ronald Green’s arrest and alleged wrongful death, we made note that we felt certain that other local media and national media would soon follow our feature. We were correct, and this feature will provide links for those features.
First, however, we want to emphasize the fact that we made a public records request for Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth’s disciplinary file on August 17, 2020. Four days later (and after first insisting upon a check remittance for 75 cents), on August 21, 2020, we received this utterly irrelevant documentation on a traffic incident in 2009. As revealed in the WBRZ Chris Nakamoto feature below, Hollingsworth was placed on leave four days later (August 25, 2020). We’ll also point out that, after asking LSP to declare with “absolute certainty” that Hollingsworth’s disciplinary file did not contain nor ever did contain anything beyond the three irrelevant pages, we specifically stated we sought documentation that any trooper involved in Greene’s arrest turned off his body camera. We’re sure the timing of LSP Col. Reeves’ disciplinary action against Hollingsworth is mere coincidence to our public records request [exit sarcasm mode].
So, having stated the preceding, let’s provide two follow-up features on the arrest of Ronald Greene:
1. WBRZ (Baton Rouge Channel 2)’s Chris Nakamoto feature indiating that it took Reeves “more than a year” to take disciplinary action against Hollingsworth.
2. Hot off the press: National former STELLAR Advocate reporter Jim Mustian’s AP feature.
Mere days after Mustian left The Advocate for a much more prestigious AP position, LSP’s Col. Kevin Reeves drafted a celebratory “Letter to the Editor” seeking for The Advocate to “move forward” entailing covering LSP. In the article, an obvious swipe was taken at Mustian:
We don’t dispute the fact that initial reporting of an incident is important. Nor do we disagree that updating issues specifically related to an incident might be important. But repeatedly referencing an incident in day-to-day stories where there is otherwise no relationship between the issues does an injustice to an agency attempting to move on and focus on the future. The Advocate makes a difficult job all the more difficult.
We would respectfully submit that it is LSP and its secretive, fraternity-like atmosphere which makes the jobs of true reporters and bloggers who seek governmental transparency “all the more difficult,” and the Ronald Greene matter is a perfect illustration of that fact!
From AP reporter Mustian’s feature:
State Police spokesman Capt. Chavez Cammon said the agency is “cooperating with federal officials” even as it conducts its own internal investigation.
Two law enforcement officials familiar with the case said State Police are investigating whether one of the responding troopers improperly turned off his body camera during Greene’s arrest. They spoke to AP on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
Edwards “is aware of the investigation and expects that there will be a comprehensive and fair evaluation of the facts,” spokeswoman Shauna Sanford wrote in an email. “He has not seen the video.”
One retired LSP Trooper has told us that, anytime a trooper hears a call from “LA-1,” that is the highest ranking LSP Official in the State of Louisiana. Trainees are taught early in the LSP Academy that “LA-1” is short for “the Governor of the State of Louisiana,” and that he (or she) is the Commander in Chief of LSP. Furthermore, a communication from “LA-1” is to be given the highest priority of any call because of that position of Commander in Chief. Given that fact, we openly question why the highest-ranking LSP official in the State of Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards, now admits that he “has not seen the video!” We’re willing to bet that changes in short order!