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

Two Louisiana State Police troopers were fired last week, months after both were arrested and accused of using excessive force against Black suspects amid a widening misconduct probe at Troop F in Monroe.

State Police officials confirmed the terminations Wednesday. 

Both Dakota DeMoss and George Harper had been on leave pending the results of internal investigations into their actions. As of last week, those investigations had concluded and the troopers were terminated effective Friday.

Under state civil service rules, they have 30 days to appeal the terminations before the Louisiana State Police Commission.

Two other troopers also arrested on similar charges, Jacob Brown and Randall Dickerson, resigned from the agency earlier this year. 

All four troopers were assigned to Troop F, which patrols a dozen parishes in northeast Louisiana. They were arrested in February after investigators found evidence of excessive force in two separate encounters.

The first incident, which involved Brown and Dickerson, occurred in July 2019 during a traffic stop in Ouachita Parish. The second occurred in May 2020 following a car chase in Franklin Parish. In that case, troopers Brown, DeMoss and Harper traded jokes in a group text after booking the suspect into jail, their conversation peppered with abbreviations for "laughing my ass off" and "laugh out loud."

"He was still digesting that ass whoopin," DeMoss said, suggesting the man would "have nightmares for a long time."

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"He gonna be sore tomorrow for sure," Brown added. "Warms my heart knowing we could educate that young man."

Records show that DeMoss and Harper received counseling back in June 2020 after supervisors reviewed their bodycam footage from the incident. The troopers received letters from a supervisor warning them about profane language and noting that it was inappropriate to strike the suspect and lift him up using his hair. But the consequences stopped there — until the troopers were notified several months later of ongoing administrative and criminal investigations against them.

DeMoss is also named in a lawsuit filed last year by the family of Ronald Greene, a Black man who died after a brutal encounter with troopers in 2019 following a lengthy police chase that ended in Union Parish. Bodycam footage of the incident, which State Police recently released only after the Associated Press published leaked copies, shows troopers beating, dragging and repeatedly tasing Greene. His death — which State Police initially said resulted from a car crash — is the subject of an ongoing federal civil rights investigation. 

State Police Superintendent Col. Lamar Davis had previously announced his intention to fire DeMoss, but the news about Harper was first reported Wednesday.

State Police officials said disciplinary records pertaining to the terminations will be made public in the future.

Criminal charges against all four arrested troopers remain pending.


Email Lea Skene at lskene@theadvocate.com.