A Louisiana state trooper with a history of at least five “at-fault” car accidents is up for a plush job within the force.
Many of his colleagues are furious, saying despite having a speckled record, his dad being a former bigwig on the force gives him privileges others are not afforded.
Sources say his colleagues think his reckless driving should have made him ineligible to serve in the new position.
Officer Kaleb Reeves has been named in three “at-fault” accidents since joining the Louisiana State Police. One of these accidents resulted in the deaths of Kajenne Lindsey, 18, and Anjenne Lindsey, 11, in Baton Rouge on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. The girls’ father was in the car and survived, only sustaining non-life-threatening injuries. The cop rear-ended the car the two Monroe natives were in with a marked state police SUV, 4WWL reported.
Reeves only received a four-month suspension from his duties for his role in the accident and never was criminally charged.
Now, the trooper will soon be transferred to the department’s intelligence division even with these outrageous blemishes on his record, according to WBRZ.
The mother of the two victims believes Reeves “shouldn’t be getting promoted.”
“He should be in jail. He killed both of my daughters. That was my life. My joy. They were my everything,” Sonita Capers said to WBRZ.
The three car crashes with the state are not his only motor vehicle accidents. The trooper was also responsible for several other crashes at his previous job before being hired by State Police.
Public records show he was involved in three other car wrecks while working in the Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Like the deadly 2020 crash, two of the accidents in Jackson Parish were considered “at-fault.”
Jackson Parish Sheriff Andy Brown says when Reeves was interviewing to work for the State Police, no one from the agency’s human resources inquired about his crash history. An investigation would have had to be made because none of the crashes are reported on his driving records — a grace afforded because the collisions were done on private property, the Baton Rouge station describes its sources as reporting.
Many believe his getting the job with State Police is classic nepotism. In 2017 the Louisiana Legislature passed an exemption to the state ethics code specifically for Kaleb Reeves that allowed him to be hired by the agency after his father was promoted to the top job.
Kaleb Reeves was still in the State Police training academy when his father was promoted to chief of the agency. Before the lawmakers’ intervention, Kaleb Reeves would have been ineligible for a Louisiana State Police job unless he had already held one for at least a year before his father became the agency’s leader.
Kaleb Reeves’ father, Kevin Reeves, is the former Louisiana State Police Superintendent, who retired three years ago after the Ronald Greene scandal rocked his office and a little over a year before his son’s big accident that killed the girls.
The younger Reeves will no longer be on the streets while working in law enforcement.
Now, he will be moved to the criminal intelligence division, where he will be charged “to collect, evaluate, and disseminate information on known or suspected criminal violators, groups, or organizations for analytical exploitation by the Investigative Support Unit.”
Many believe his being hired is a continuum of the “good old boy” network in state law enforcement that has kept him employed over the years. Officials disagree, chalking it up simply as a “lateral move.”
Though Reeves will not receive an increase in pay, the job is extremely competitive and considered a promotion by his colleagues.
LSU Law professor Ken Levy said Kaleb Reeves was able to skate into the position because of “rampant privilege.”
“It boggles the mind,” Levy said. “This is a guy who just two years ago… killed an 18-year-old and an 11-year-old driving recklessly… got a suspension from the force and is now being promoted for it. Most people would have been punished for it and many are.”
He told WBRZ if that is not the case, LSP should know that’s how it looks.
“It’s horrible in every way. It’s horrible optics, it’s horrible ethics. There were probably many other well-qualified officers that could have been promoted. Why him? It just stinks,” Levy added.
The public is shocked that he still has a job, especially Crystal Bracknell, who witnessed the October 2020 fatal crash.
She described it to reporters as “horrifying.”
The eyewitness says the trooper was not paying attention while speeding. He says he was speedily responding to a call and is protected by Louisiana’s being an “at-fault” state. Reeves was going 77 in a 55 mph zone.
According to Forbes, “an at-fault accident is a collision caused by a driver’s negligence. In most, but not all states, crash victims are able to recover compensation for injuries from the driver who caused the collision after an at-fault accident occurs.”
In Reeves’ case, he was never charged or written up.
The girls’ mom said, “I think I would have been charged. I think I would have lost my job, lost my license. I think I would have been in jail rotting for life.”
The State Office of Risk Management considers motorists high risk only if they have three or more moving violation convictions in a year or a single conviction for a serious driving offense during that same time.
Since the trooper never received a write-up or citation for any of the accidents he was a part of, he is allowed legally in the state to continue driving.