A Black state trooper in Louisiana has said he received notice he will be fired after accusing his colleagues of murdering a Black man. Carl Cavalier, 33, in an interview in June, criticized his department’s role in the 2019 death of Ronald Greene, who died in the custody of the Louisiana State Police after a high-speed chase.
Cavalier, who has been with Louisiana State Police since 2014, accused the department of being involved in a coverup of the death of Greene. He believes that his potential termination is retaliation for speaking out on Greene’s death and for publishing a fictional book under a pseudonym about the experience of being a Black officer, NBC News reported.
Cavalier was serving a five-week unpaid suspension for publishing the book when he received notice of his firing, according to WWL-TV. He has vowed to fight for his job. “I swore and took an oath to do exactly what I’m doing,” said Cavalier. “I’m going to pursue my job with everything in me. If the justice system works like it’s supposed to, if the appeals process works how it’s supposed to, I believe I’ll have my job back.”
Cavalier said he has been on paid leave since August. He told CNN he received a termination letter this month signed by Louisiana State Police Superintendent Lamar A. Davis. The letter states that Cavalier violated the department’s policy on “Public Statement,” “Lawful Orders,” “Loyalty to the Department,” “Dissemination of Information,” “Seeking Publicity” and “Conduct Unbecoming an Officer”, according to CNN.
Cavalier on September 30 filed a lawsuit alleging that his superior officers discriminated against him. He said when he complained internally about the alleged discrimination, he was demoted and transferred.
Louisiana State Police spokeswoman Melissa Matey said last week in a statement: “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. 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.
Greene, 49, died after he was dragged and beaten in a struggle with troopers following his arrest on May 10, 2019. Police initially reported that Greene died in a car crash during a high-speed chase, but body camera footage that was leaked to the media showed otherwise. Per the footage, Greene was left without medical assistance for about nine minutes after being dragged and beaten before he died in the custody of the troopers.
Two troopers were reprimanded for their actions. According to CNN, a third was to be terminated for violations regarding body-worn camera and car camera systems, use of force, performance, lawful orders and for conduct unbecoming an officer but that trooper died in a car crash before he could be fired.
“We still have murderers, in my eyes, on the job. Guys who received a slap on the wrist for their roles in the Ronald Greene incident are unpunished… patrolling the streets and left on the job,” Cavalier told WBRZ after the release of the footage. He argued that there should be arrests, including of the former agency head, CNN affiliate WBRZ-TV reported.
Cavalier in August told WWLTV how he felt after seeing the videos of Greene’s arrest. “I guess it created like a shock to me, created like a level of disappointment that I’m still recovering from now. The fact that these guys are actively covering up a murder,” he said.