Baton Rouge, LA – The Louisiana State Police (LSP) released the findings of an investigation that was launched more than a year ago after cadets at the police academy were so badly beaten during training that some required medical attention.
The investigation began in October of 2019 after family members of the cadets, outraged at the physical conditions of their loved ones after the week of “defensive tactics training,” contacted the state police administration, WAFB reported.
Families provided pictures of their injured cadets to LSP officials and the media, prompting an angry response in the community and the launch of an internal investigation.
Some of the training troopers allegedly forced all of the cadets to participate in physically abusing other cadets as punishment, WAFB reported.
Sources said training troopers engaged in sleep deprivation torture of the cadet class over a period of three consecutive nights.
“The cadets were kept in one room with the lights on and the air conditioning turned as low as it would go,” the source told WAFB. “Every hour, someone would walk in and order all the cadets to stand up and walk around the room.”
The source said punishments also included forcing cadets to hit each other with items such as training pads and other gear, and forcing them to swim long distances while wearing clothing.
Ten cadets had to seek medical treatment after the training, WAFB reported.
The injuries included cuts, bruises, a fractured arm, and a broken nose.
One of the nurses who examined the injured cadets said they looked as bad as “victims of domestic abuse and motor vehicle crashes,” WAFB reported.
Then-Louisiana State Police Colonel Kevin Reeves announced that three members of the training division had been transferred after the investigation began.
The Louisiana state trooper accused of ordering most of the violence was demoted from lieutenant for his actions, according to WAFB.
LSP Sergeant Len Marie has been called “crazy” and “mentally deranged” by the cadets he trained.
Cadets and other trainers told investigators that then-Lt. Marie had forced them to use the yellow pads designed to help teach cadets how to protect themselves in hand-to-hand combat as weapons against each other, WAFB reported.
Some of the yellow pads were found to have dried blood on them during the investigation.
One sergeant who trained with the lieutenant said he was bullied into participating, WAFB reported.
“You don’t have any hair on your balls if you’re not going to do that drill again with the yellow pads,” he claimed then-Lt. Marie told him.
Another trooper told investigators that it had felt as though Lt. Marie had hijacked the police academy, WAFB reported.
Newly-released records showed that almost all of the 55 members of the cadet class that was investigated had suffered some sort of bruising during training at the police academy.
One cadet told investigators that Lt. Marie hit him so hard that he lost consciousness.
The nurse who later assessed the injured cadet diagnosed “post-concussion” syndrome, WAFB reported.
Former Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie worked as an instructor at the police academy and told internal affairs investigators that the drills Lt. Marie ran with the cadets “appeared to be punishment.”
A cadet told WAFB that he saw former Chief Dabadie leave a training session and said the former top cop said he wanted “nothing to do with it,” WAFB reported.
Multiple troopers told investigators that then-Lt. Marie seemed to take enormous pride in hitting the cadets extra hard with the yellow practice pads and bragged about it.
One fellow instructor told investigators that Lt. Marie told him he’d been bruised when he went through the police academy and “now it’s their turn,” WAFB reported.
Investigative records showed that one of the cadets provided a picture that “showed him shirtless and displaying bruising on his left and right shoulders and arms.”
One cadet told investigators that a classmate had been so beat up that it looked like he had a “full body tattoo from his waist to his collarbone.”
Another cadet who sought medical treatment for his injuries at a walk-in clinic was quickly transferred to the emergency room when his bruising was so intense that medical personnel thought he might require surgery, WAFB reported.
Then-Lt. Marie was interviewed twice by investigators and insisted that he had never struck any of the cadets with 100 percent force.
He was demoted to sergeant and his salary was cut from $99,795 to $90,312 per year, but Sgt. Marie was allowed to remain on the police force despite all the evidence that he had repeatedly abused cadets, WAFB reported.
LSP Sergeant Henry Clay Reavis was the Cadet Coordinator for the 2019 academy class that investigators determined had suffered such abuse at the hands of their trainers.
Sgt. Reavis was demoted for his role in enforcing sleep deprivation tactics and forcing cadets to do overnight “fire watch” drills, WAFB reported.
He retired shortly after he was demoted.