LSP det. investigating Greene death says supervisors didn’t always listen to recommendations

While not referring to a specific case for legal reasons, Sergeant Albert Paxton also said troopers have refused to turn over body-camera footage in the past.
Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 10:12 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (KNOE) - Louisiana State Police faces scrutiny during a hearing at the State Capitol. The Senate Committee on State Police Oversight questioned LSP leadership at their second hearing on Dec. 13.

At the hearing, legislators questioned Sergeant Albert Paxton, the man responsible for investigating the in-person death of Ronald Greene.

Although he couldn’t reference specific cases for legal reasons, Paxton was asked about investigations that took place in 2019, the year Greene died.

“During the time that you have been investigating officer-involved shootings, have your supervisors always taken your recommendations regarding those officers involved shootings,” asked Senator Katrina Jackson.

“No, ma’am,” replied Paxton.

The admission that supervisors didn’t always take his recommendations comes after the Associated Press reported that Paxton recommended criminally charging a trooper involved in Greene’s death, but was blocked by his superiors.

“During your time, were their times, where an officer hadn’t turned in their body cams to you,” Senator Jackson, who represents parts of Ouachita and Morehouse Parishes, asked Paxton.

“Yes, ma’am,” Paxton told Senator Jackson.

The Associated Press reported earlier this year that some officers hid body-camera footage from investigators.

“In my experience, they were not turned in because they knew we were aware that we did not have access to it,” explained Sergeant Paxton. “So they knew they could hide it from us.”

Senator Jackson asked if LSP made reforms that provide investigators with instant access to videos without supervisor approval during use-of-force cases.

“They’re able to give you access to it,” Paxton said. “I still have to be given permission from supervisors to view videos from our department or other departments.”

Colonel Lamar Davis, the Superintendant of State Police, said although someone has to give permission, once an investigator is assigned to a case, it will be issued immediately.

He also added that videos couldn’t be deleted, saying, “Whenever there is video taken, that video is automatically uploaded. When they put their {cameras} into the charging system, link them back up to the system, all video automatically uploads.”

Davis says if a trooper doesn’t plug in their camera, their supervisors will notice within a few days.

It’s also important to note that Sergeant Paxton is under investigation for sharing the contents of a report with his wife. Paxton says he was instructed to do so by a superior and is being investigated for “refusing to be part of a cover-up.”

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