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Louisiana State Police headquarters, Wednesday, November 14, 2018 in Baton Rouge, La.

Four Louisiana State Police troopers were arrested Monday following a "criminal investigation into use of force encounters" at the agency's Monroe-based Troop F, which was already reeling after a series of scandals over the past several months and an ongoing federal civil rights probe. 

Col. Lamar Davis announced the forthcoming arrests in an internal email to subordinates Monday. State Police officials later confirmed the arrests in a public statement Monday evening.

The announcement came amid several investigations of possible misconduct, including two incidents in which troopers have been accused of brutally beating Black suspects. The new arrests appear to stem from previously unreported incidents, though the public statement did not identify alleged victims.

The following troopers were arrested Monday: Jacob Brown, 30; Randall Dickerson, 34; Dakota DeMoss, 28; and George Harper, 26. 

This marks Brown's second arrest in recent months after investigators apparently found him liable of criminal acts in multiple separate cases. 

State Police released few details Monday about the incidents resulting in the new arrests. Officials said the first occurred in July 2019 during a traffic stop in Ouachita Parish when troopers found drugs in a vehicle. After making an arrest, Brown and Dickerson used excessive force on the handcuffed driver, deactivated their body cameras and lied about "alleged resistance by the suspect," according to State Police. 

Both troopers in that incident were arrested on simple battery and malfeasance in office.

The second incident occurred in May 2020 following a car chase in Franklin Parish, officials said. After troopers used spike strips to stop the fleeing vehicle, the driver "exited the vehicle and immediately lay on the ground in a compliant position," according to the news release. But troopers DeMoss, Harper and Brown nonetheless used excessive force and deactivated their bodycams. They were arrested on simple battery and malfeasance. Brown also falsified reports and faces an additional count of obstruction of justice, officials said. 

Officials did not release the names of the suspects in those two incidents.

Allegations of misconduct at Troop F started surfacing last year after the family of Ronald Greene sued State Police claiming troopers beat the man to death following a May 2019 traffic pursuit and then lied about their actions. The agency has thus far refused to release bodycam footage of the encounter to the public, though Greene's family was allowed to review it.

State Police had initially claimed Greene died upon impact after crashing his car during a police chase, but the lawsuit alleges troopers actually beat the man to death, leaving him "bloodied and in cardiac arrest" before covering up what happened.

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The Department of Justice opened a federal civil rights investigation, which remains ongoing.

The new arrests are not the first of their kind in recent months. Brown was previously arrested in December and accused in another beating of a Black suspect, Aaron Bowman, who has also sued the agency. That incident also occurred in the Monroe area in May 2019. In that case, Brown was arrested on one count each of aggravated second-degree battery and malfeasance in office. In addition to beating Bowman with a flashlight, the trooper was accused of trying to hide the bodycam footage from his superiors.

Davis said in an internal email to troopers Monday that he understands this is difficult news for Troop F and the rest of the agency. He called the decision heart-wrenching. 

"Although we once again face a situation that will undoubtedly bring negative public attention to our agency, we must remain committed to holding each other accountable," he wrote in the message, a copy of which was obtained by the Advocate. "This will build trust internally as well as externally in the communities we serve."

Davis asked his subordinates to never "lose sight of who we are and what we represent." He asked them to remember feeling proud upon graduating from the State Police academy and donning their uniforms for the first time. 

"As you go to work, recall your training that ensures you are one of the best trained, most professional law enforcement officers in the country," Davis said. "And know without a shadow of a doubt that I support you as your carry out a very difficult and at times dangerous mission day and night."

Davis is relatively new to his position as head of State Police. He was appointed in October and became the agency's fourth ever Black superintendent, pledging to uphold values of transparency and accountability among troopers during a time of turmoil and criticism. 

Attorneys representing Greene's family and Bowman have demanded complete reform of what they called a cultural problem at Troop F. 

Hours after learning he would be fired for his role in Greene's death, Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth died in a single-car crash in late September. Several days later, another trooper from Troop F — the son of former agency head Col. Kevin Reeves — was responding to a call when he rear-ended a vehicle, leaving the child and teen backseat passengers dead from the impact.

State Police have not released information about whether Kaleb Reeves will be disciplined for his role in the crash. His father also spent decades with Troop F in Monroe before being appointed superintendent in 2017. Kevin Reeves stepped down from the position in late October; officials said he had planned to retire around that time regardless of the recent scandals.


Email Lea Skene at lskene@theadvocate.com.