By Chris Nakamoto | WBRZ | March 21, 2023
BATON ROUGE – State corruption watchdogs, lawmakers and legal experts are questioning why Louisiana State Trooper Kaleb Reeves wasn’t arrested when he caused a crash that killed two sisters in north Louisiana in October 2020.
It comes amid renewed outrage, triggered by a WBRZ Investigative Unit report revealing that Reeves was set to transfer to a posh new role at the agency’s intelligence division. State Police pumped the brakes on that promotion following our stories.
“Two things prevented his arrest in this case,” Rafael Goyeneche, President of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, said. “One is the fact that at the time of this accident his father was the Superintendent of State Police. The second factor was that he apparently, even after his father was gone, was still afforded protections and special consideration that a normal trooper would not have received.”
Goyeneche reviewed the crash report from the 2020 deadly wreck obtained by WBRZ. He is convinced that any other member of the public would have gone to jail.
“The average citizen who would have had those type of numbers would have been arrested for negligent homicide, and it would have been up to the DA’s office to go forward with it,” Goyeneche said.
District Attorney Steve Tew told WBRZ Tuesday that his office declined to pursue charges because he didn’t think the crash resulted in “criminal negligence.” Reeves was speeding and wasn’t paying attention when he slammed into the car carrying Kajanay and Ajanay Lindsey. Both sisters were riding in the backseat and were killed.
This year, an Addis Police Officer was arrested and fired after he crashed into a car that three teens were riding in, killing two high schoolers. He was charged with negligent homicide after the crash, which happened as he was speeding after a fleeing suspect.
Prior to Reeves’ transfer being blocked, State Police called it a “lateral move” and noted that there was no plan to increase his pay. However, other troopers at State Police said it was a highly sought-after job and looked at it as a promotion.
“State Police elected not to go forward with the reassignment because it made the agency look bad,” Goyeneche said. “The decision to make that assignment in the first place is what makes the agency look bad. The fact that you caught it and exposed it doesn’t alleviate the appearance of impropriety with Louisiana State Police.”