BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The superintendent of the Louisiana State Police acknowledges that he was pulled over for speeding in an unmarked work vehicle, but he did not receive a ticket from one of his own officers.
Colonel Lamar Davis said WAFB-TV in an interview Friday that he accepts responsibility but doesn’t remember how fast he was driving. A state trooper took Davis into custody June 28 at the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge along Interstate 10 west of Baton Rouge.
“I was just wrong in that situation,” Davis said. “There’s no excuse for it, other than I need to slow down.”
Louisiana State Police public affairs chief Capt. Nick Manale said the officer “used his discretion and did not issue a citation.” it was 60 mph (96 kph).
WAFB obtained a copy of the officer’s body camera footage through a public records request. On Thursday, the Louisiana State Police released the officer’s body camera footage and a snippet of video from the officer’s dash cam.
The body camera footage cuts off as soon as the police officer gets out of his vehicle and acknowledges that he has stopped and is his boss.
“Well, I will be,” the police officer said just before the video stopped.
Dash cam footage, which has no audio, shows the police officer and Davis talking for a few seconds between their two vehicles before the two shake hands. Within 30 seconds of first getting out of his vehicle, Davis backed into his vehicle and prepared to leave.
During Friday’s interview, Davis told WAFB that the officer’s actions fell within Louisiana State Police policy.
“I know everyone wants to see everything we do. But we’re not putting body cameras on doctors or lawyers or anyone else who interacts with the public,” Davis said. “I ask people to trust that we are doing the right thing for the right reasons.”
Davis became superintendent of the Louisiana State Police on October 30, 2020.
The US Department of Justice announced last month that it was opening a civil rights investigation to the Louisiana State Police amid evidence the agency has a pattern of looking the other way in the face of beatings of mostly black men, including the deadly arrest of Ronald Greene in 2019.
The federal “pattern or practice” investigation followed a associated press investigation which found that Greene’s arrest was among at least a dozen cases over the past decade in which troopers or their bosses ignored or hid evidence of beatings, deflected blame and impeded efforts to root out misconduct.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, who oversees the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said Davis and Gov. John Bel Edwards have agreed to cooperate with the investigation.
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