Former state police chief hands over logs to committee investigating Ronald Greene’s death

The former Louisiana State Police superintendent turned over his handwritten work logs to a legislative committee investigating allegations that soldiers deliberately concealed the death in custody of Ronald Greene in May 2019. The president of the House, Pro Tempore Tanner Magee, who leads the committee, confirmed receipt of the reviews with the Illuminator Friday afternoon.

The road to getting retired Col. Kevin Reeves to hand over the papers peaked Thursday with Magee bringing a resolution to the House and Government Affairs Committee to hold Reeves in contempt of the legislature. Investigative committee lawmakers had issued a subpoena to Reeves to turn over all documents related to the Greene investigation. Reeves’ attorney, Lewis Unglesby, gave lawmakers only a few diary pages he deemed relevant.

Magee accused Unglesby of lying about the contents of the logs and was ready to move forward the contempt charge at Thursday’s HGA committee meeting when it was suggested that Reeves’ diaries be kept under seal once turned over and not become public records.

Unglesby consented on the condition that HGA President Rep. John Stefanski accompany Magee to his Baton Rouge law office to oversee the writing of all of Reeves’ personal and financial information to the newspapers.

The contents of the newspapers could be part of the next hearing of the commission of inquiry, scheduled for Wednesday. Only committee lawmakers will be allowed to review the logs, which will be kept in the House Clerk’s office.

House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, formed the select committee after Associated Press reports earlier this year implied Governor John Bel Edwards knew more about Greene’s death at the hands of state troopers than he had initially admitted. Edwards said the information he limited to information he shared publicly because a federal investigation into Greene’s death was ongoing.

The PA reported last week that the governor reviewed the body camera video from the scene of Greene’s death in October 2020. It shows white soldiers dragging, kicking and beating Greene, a black motorist, and shooting him with stun guns. The district attorney for Union Parish, where Greene died, did not receive the video footage until May 2021, according to the report.

Soldiers initially claimed Greene died from injuries he sustained when a police chase he led ended in his car crashing into a tree. A subsequent review of Greene’s autopsy ruled out the accident as the cause of death.

Magee’s committee largely focused on dysfunction in the upper ranks of the state police following Greene’s death. No soldier was sanctioned internally. Union Parish DA John Belton said he will seek criminal charges against soldiers in the case, although none have been formally charged so far.

Wesley Muller contributed to this report. This story has been updated to reflect when Magee confirmed receipt of Reeves’ diaries.

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