New York-based federal law enforcement reporter Jim Mustian reported exclusively on a string of racial slurs used by Louisiana State Police troopers, both in their official emails and spoken on the job, refuting the contention of the agency’s superintendent that the use of such demeaning language was just “isolated.”
Mustian reviewed hundreds of police records and found at least a dozen instances over a three-year period in which employees forwarded racist emails on their official accounts with subject lines like “PROUD TO BE WHITE,” or demeaned minority colleagues with names including “Hershey’s Kiss,” “Django” and “Egg Roll.” He also exclusively obtained documents of an accidental “pocket-dial” of sorts in which a white trooper sent a voice mail to a Black trooper that blurted out his name and then a vile racist slur.
The state police superintendent made an abrupt retirement announcement in the midst of Mustian’s reporting, which follows weeks of his coverage on the still-unexplained death of Ronald Greene, a Black motorist taken into custody last year following a police chase. Reeves faced criticism for his secretive handling of the case, including the refusal to release body-cam video that, according to those who have seen it, shows troopers beating, choking and dragging Greene while calling him a “son of a b----.” The case is now the subject of a federal civil rights investigation.
Mustian’s story on the racial slurs received strong play, including on the front page of New Orleans’ Times-Picayune/Advocate.