By Chris Nakamoto | WBRZ-TV | February 9, 2021
BATON ROUGE, La. – Training academy documents obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit through sources at State Police show one of four state troopers arrested Monday in an excessive force probe should never have been allowed to graduate from the State Police academy.
Among the four arrested was Trooper Jacob Brown who was recommended for termination for lying during the trooper’s academy.
Rafael Goyeneche a corruption watchdog said the documents foreshadowed what was to come.
“Those training academy documents were prophetic,” Goyeneche said. “They prophesized what was going to happen and predicted the future. The whole point of the training academy is to determine if someone has the moral makeup to be a trooper.”
But, despite the recommendation from an academy sergeant, Brown graduated the 2015 police academy. More than five years later, he was facing multiple charges for how internal affairs detectives said he handled citizens in at least three different encounters as a Louisiana State Trooper.
While in the academy, documents obtained by WBRZ show Brown lied about prohibited items he had in his dorm on two occasions. It involved tobacco products an academy sergeant said Brown hid in the ceiling of his dorm room. The records leaked to WBRZ by State Police insiders were first requested by Robert Burns, who runs the blog Soundoff Louisiana. Burns confirmed documents given to WBRZ were the same documents he received through a public records request inquiring about Jacob Brown’s academy records.
An internal memo stated, “Cadet Brown violated the Cadet manual by possessing tobacco products during training. He violated the State Police core values with a lack of integrity by lying to the duty officers when asked about the contraband.”
The memo continued, “Cadet Brown is not demonstrating the necessary character traits that represent the State Police core values.”
The documents went on to say, “These character flaws are a strong indication of the type of trooper Cadet Brown will ultimately become. He is willing to cut corners and express himself in a disrespectful and deceptive manner… These are traits of a toxic employee…”
Monday, Brown was charged in two separate cases for using excessive force and malfeasance in office. When charged and arrested, Brown was accused of having deactivated his body camera during a 2019 incident that involved excessive force on a driver he pulled over. In a late news release Monday, State Police later elaborated Brown did the same thing in May 2020. Brown’s arrest record suggested he deliberately mislabeled video from that arrest as a “citizen encounter,” even though it was considered a use of force encounter. Internal investigators believed it was an effort to hide it from his superiors.
Brown was arrested in December for another excessive force incident involving Aaron Bowman. The incident between Bowman and Brown occurred a year earlier.
Brown’s father is the former State Police Chief of Staff to the agency’s superintendent. During the incidents and his time at the academy, Brown’s father, Bob Brown, held high-ranking positions at State Police. He’s since retired.
An attorney for Aaron Bowman, the man beaten during an encounter with a trooper who State Police have said was Jacob Brown, believes department connections allowed the younger Brown to operate without oversight.
“It’s absolutely no coincidence,” Attorney Ron Haley said. “This was a cover-up. The chief of staff used his power to protect his son until he couldn’t protect him anymore. It’s obvious. They will say something different I’m sure, but we have common sense.”
Goyeneche echoed those sentiments Tuesday.
“Because he wasn’t terminated, a cancer was released into the State Police,” Goyeneche said. “We saw that manifestations of his integrity issues not once, not twice but three times.”