State Police detective blocked from charging officer in Ronald Greene death retires
The Louisiana State Police detective who was the lead investigator in the violent, in-custody death of Ronald Greene in 2019 and who wrote in a report that he was blocked from charging a trooper in the incident has filed for early retirement from the agency.
Sgt. Albert Paxton confirmed to USA Today Network Tuesday that he filed paperwork Monday for early retirement effective Feb. 3.
Paxton, who has been with the agency about 14 years, declined to elaborate on his decision.
Last month Paxton testified during a legislative hearing in the State Capitol that superiors ignored his recommendations from an investigation without naming a specific case.
Paxton, who is located at Troop F in Monroe, also said body camera videos he requested weren't always made available to him "so they can hide them from us."
Paxton's testimony came during a Dec. 13, 2021 hearing of the Senate Select Committee on State Police Oversight in which Greene's mother Mona Hardin also repeated her plea for justice for "my Ronnie."
Ronald Greene:Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Ronald Greene killing
Greene died in 2019 following a brutal beating by State Police during an arrest in Union Parish near Monroe.
His cause of death was first covered up by State Police troopers on the scene who said Greene died from injuries suffered in a car accident during their pursuit of him before the severity of his beating became public.
A federal investigation is ongoing in the Greene killing.
During last month's hearing Sen. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, asked Paxton if his supervisors "always take your advice" in use-of-force investigations involving State Police.
"No, ma'am," Paxton said.
When she asked who ignored his advice, he identified Maj. Jason Turner, who leads the agency's detective division.
That contradicted Turner's testimony earlier in the hearing when he said he didn't recall ever dismissing the recommendations of one of his detectives.
When Jackson asked Paxton if there have ever been times when troopers didn't turn in body camera videos during his investigations, he said, "Yes, ma'am."
In records obtained by the USA Today Network last summer, Paxton wrote that he was blocked from charging an officer who beat Greene during the May 2019 arrest by the department's leadership, including former State Police Col. Kevin Reeves, who retired amid the escalating controversy over Greene's death.
Paxton also testified he was recently issued a letter of reprimand for unauthorized dissemination of information for sending emails of reports to his wife for her to proofread, which Paxton said he had been doing for 14 years with approval from his supervisor.
Paxton, who became emotional during testimony when talking about his wife, said he told his supervisor: "I won’t participate in a coverup, I won’t hide evidence and I won’t lie."
After the hearing, current State Police Col. Lamar Davis said Paxton's testimony "concerns me and that's why we're putting in the changes we're making. It's always a concern to me when (officers) don't feel they have adequate resources."
Davis said he couldn't comment on Paxton's letter of reprimand because it is a personnel matter.
Paxton was the only one of four current or former State Police employees invited to the hearing to attend.
Greg Hilburn covers Louisiana politics for the USA Today Network. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.