THE INVESTIGATORS: Concerns raised after Louisiana State Police’s second-in-command’s abrupt retirement
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana State Police’s second-in-command is officially done. Doug Cain retired abruptly as several investigations swirl.
In a statement to WAFB, Cain touted 25 years in law enforcement. However, Cain’s critics and those who have asked for more accountability over LSP point to an ongoing internal investigation as a possible motive.
“It is not a good look that when someone is under the cloud of investigation at the highest level of law enforcement in the state is allowed to essentially walk out the front door with no accountability from within,” said attorney Ron Haley. Haley represents the family of Ronald Greene, a man whose death at the hands of troopers has led to claims of coverups among LSP leadership. “This is just another slap on the wrist.”
At some point after Greene’s deadly encounter with state troopers, Cain along with two other members of LSP turned their phones in as part of the investigation. It was later learned that everything, including text messages, was erased.
When a group of lawmakers on the House Special Committee to Inquire into the Circumstances and Investigation of the Death of Ronald Greene asked Cain about why the phone was cleared, he said he could not answer questions because it was part of the internal investigation. That investigation started just days before the hearing.
Tanner Magee, chair of that committee, shared concerns about how Cain’s retirement will impact their investigation going forward.
“I wish him the best in future endeavors, but I am saddened this might ultimately frustrate the legislature’s ability to discover the truth,” said Magee.
Cain is jumping ship just one week after the Justice Department announced a sweeping Patterns and Practices investigation into LSP. Their goal is to determine if there is a routine of discrimination in the way troopers handle minorities. It also comes as a criminal investigation by federal officials unfolds.
Haley said he considers Cain’s retirement to be an attempt to skirt responsibility and justice. In Hayley’s eyes Cain’s “tactic” may impede investigations that lack certain subpoena power, but the federal investigation should be able to get to the truth.
“What the legislature can not do, I assure you the Department of Justice, if they do their thorough job that they have assured us, they can get to the bottom line and answers,” Haley said.
Reached by phone Friday, June 17, a spokeswoman for Governor John Bel Edwards deferred to state police for comment.
An LSP spokesman said Cain’s retirement was submitted, but not “finalized.” He said no other information would be provided.
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