An early morning traffic stop of a St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy by a state trooper last month has prompted internal investigations by both agencies, according to a State Police spokesman and the sheriff’s Facebook page.
Trooper Matt Graham stopped Sgt. Sean Beavers, of the Sheriff’s Office, on La. 25 just north of U.S. 190 in Covington at 2:45 a.m. May 24, according to Sgt. Nick Manale, a public affairs officer with the State Police. The reason for the stop was improper lane usage, Manale said.
No arrest was made, but the State Police declined a public-records request for the dashcam video from the stop, saying in an email that the incident is under administrative investigation and the video is unavailable while that investigation continues.
“During the course of the stop, Trooper Graham contacted STPSO, who responded and took over from there. Mr. Beavers was not uncooperative or belligerent toward the trooper,” Manale wrote.
It’s unclear why Graham contacted the Sheriff’s Office. The traffic stop took place in Covington, but Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz said his agency was not contacted.
On Monday, the Sheriff’s Office alluded to the matter on its Facebook page, saying that incorrect information was being spread on social media about a traffic stop of one of its employees.
“In the early morning hours of May 24, a trooper with Louisiana State Police stopped a vehicle being driven by one of our employees. That employee’s interaction with the trooper was entirely professional and courteous, and no arrest was made,” the Facebook post said.
The Sheriff’s Office posting did not identify Beavers, who at one time was the office’s public information officer. But it did say the office has initiated an internal investigation “into the nature and reason for the stop, and its resolution.”
The employee has been reassigned to administrative duties while the investigation is pending, the post said, adding that the Sheriff’s Office would make no further comment.
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