BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — It’s been three years since Ronald Greene died in State Police custody. Now the special committee investigating his death is holding a former State Police boss in contempt.
Former Col. Kevin Reeves, who oversaw State Police during the time when Ronald Greene died in police custody, refused to turn over pages of multiple journals he kept during his time as superintendent. Now the legislature is looking to hold him in contempt.
In testimony before the committee, Reeves said he would take notes during meetings with State Police higher-ups in the weeks and months after Greene died. The journals were requested to learn more about those discussions and what may have been held back in testimony. Reeves’ lawyer only turned over a handful of pages of the three journals.
“He showed me documents that he thought were related to Ronald Greene even though his previous response said that he had no Ronald Greene documents… He briefly allowed me to start reviewing them,’ Committee Chairman Rep. Tanner Magee said. “When I got to certain pages in the journal he refused to produce those documents.”
Rep. Magee said Reeves’ lawyer felt the rest of the journals were not specific to Ronald Greene. But Magee believes there could be pages relevant to the case even if Greene is not mentioned by name.
Part of the discussion was about why the troopers involved were not put on administrative leave until after any criminal investigations were completed.
“Col. Reeves’ notebooks clearly say that he was considering administrative leave, possible criminal investigation from early on in the process,” Rep. Magee said. “The question is if Col. Reeves was early on considering why nothing happened over the life of three years.”
The committee voted unanimously to hold Reeves in contempt and will file a resolution in the house to give a $5,000 civil fine. They also will continue to push for the journals.
“Based on his testimony those journals are public record… it would be my position that I’m not looking for redacted copies,” Rep. Debbie Villio said.
Col. Reeves will get a chance to testify against the contempt charge later on in a House and Governmental Affairs Committee meeting. There is no set date for that hearing just yet.
If Reeves continues to refuse to turn over the journals, they could be sent over to the district attorney to consider giving criminal charges, Rep. Magee said.