- A Louisiana State Trooper who spoke out against the cover-up of Ronald Greene's death is suing the department
- Carl Cavalier claims he faced years of race-based discrimination at work.
- Cavalier said he faced retaliatory treatment by supervisors when he flagged issues within the department.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
A Louisiana State Trooper who spoke out against the 2019 police killing of Ronald Greene is suing the agency over racism and retaliation he says he's experienced on the job since 2018.
In the suit filed last Thursday, Carl Cavalier, 33, said that he began facing targeted harassment by supervisors in May of 2018 after he issued a ticket to a Houma Police officer, and it's continued since.
Cavalier became the public face of troopers within the Louisiana State Police who have been blowing the whistle on perceived misconduct at the agency.
When Cavalier learned about the death of Greene – a Black man who died after being stunned, hit, and dragged during an arrest – he began asking questions.
Initially the agency told the public Greene died in a car crash. It wasn't until two years after his death that the department released body camera footage showing troopers beating the man.
Unhappy with what he believed was a two year cover-up by the department, Cavalier gave interviews to local media stations about a "toxic" culture within state police and alleged cover-up of Greene's death.
He was then put on leave, and eventually transferred from his job in the narcotics unit to gaming, which he believed was a demotion, according to the suit.
In the lawsuit, Cavalier said that the recent treatment follows years of retaliatory treatment that he's faced for calling attention to issues within the department.
In 2018, after he ticketed the local law enforcement officer, his supervisors began placing increased scrutiny on his ticketing, reports, and body-camera footage.
He also claimed that Louisiana State Police colleagues targeted his immediate family members with minor traffic tickets.
Speaking out against department misconduct
Cavalier's first attempt to fix issues he perceived at the department wasn't with the media, but with internal investigators through written grievances, which he claimed in the suit weren't addressed.
In 2018, after complaining about treatment by his supervisors that went unaddressed, he was told by commanding officers that he should request a transfer to a different department.
The problems, though, continued, according to the suit.
In October of 2020, he started reaching out to the agency's Trooper Employee Assistance Program to seek help for the racism he said he was experiencing, but was told the program wasn't equipped to deal with such an issue.
He reached out to people in the program and superiors three more times in the following months to no avail, until he met with Louisiana State Police Superintendent Lamar Davis in February 2021. Davis told Cavalier he would look into the claims of racism and suggested a book for him to read on the topic.
In his lawsuit, which he filed without an attorney, Cavalier claimed that the actions taken against him – including penalties he faced as a trooper – were illegal race-based discrimination that were done in retaliation for his whistle blowing.
When contacted by Insider by phone, Cavalier declined to comment on the case on the record, citing fears that the agency would take further action against his employment for speaking to the media.
Louisiana State Police didn't return a request for comment.