Louisiana trooper who spoke out about police brutality is fired

A Black Louisiana state trooper who went public with allegations of police brutality and racism within the department has received notice that he was being fired. 

Carl Cavalier got a letter this week from State Police Superintendent Lamar Davis saying that he violated department policy by speaking out about the death of Ronald Greene, according to WWL-TV, a local CBS affiliate.

Greene was a Black man who died after he was beaten and dragged in a struggle with troopers. Police had initially reported Greene died in a car crash, but body camera footage that was leaked to the media showed otherwise. 

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Cavalier gave interviews to local television stations in Louisiana indicating that he was disappointed it required leaked body camera footage to get the department to discipline the officers involved in Greene's death, WWL-TV reported. 

“There are killers,” Cavalier said in an interview with the station. “And there are people who are OK with the killers being on the job. And that's the people who are a part of the cover up.”

“I considered it a murder,” he added. “Because why else would we hesitate to be transparent about it? Why else would we not do our jobs and hold these guys accountable? Why else? What other reason?”

Cavalier was also facing pushback from the department after publishing a book about being a Black officer in an environment that could be racially hostile. He had used a pseudonym for the book and was serving a five-week unpaid suspension for publishing it when he received notice of his firing, WWL-TV noted.

On Sept. 30, Cavalier filed a lawsuit claiming that his superior officers within the State Police discriminated against him. When he complained internally about the alleged discrimination, Cavalier said he was demoted and transferred, per WWL-TV. 

"Trooper Cavalier received the decision of the appointing authority to move forward with termination based on an administrative investigation that revealed he violated several departmental policies," Lt. Melissa Matey of the Louisiana State Police said in an email statement to The Hill. "It should be noted that our disciplinary administrative process is not finalized and Cavalier remains an employee at this time."

"Cavalier is due a fair and impartial process, and as such, the department cannot provide comment on any pending litigation," Matey added.