Trooper Donald Charles Cleveland

Trooper Donald Charles Cleveland

Louisiana State Police, Louisiana

End of Watch Saturday, July 2, 1977

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Donald Charles Cleveland

Trooper Donald Cleveland was shot and killed during a traffic stop near Lafayette, Louisiana.

He had stopped the vehicle with juveniles inside on Louisiana 94 after it left a nightclub between Lafayette and Breaux Bridge.

The 17-year-old driver had just been released from prison for a murder he committed only two years earlier. The juvenile was sentenced to death for Trooper Cleveland's murder and was the last prisoner to be executed by the electric chair in Louisiana.

Trooper Cleveland had served with the Louisiana State Police for 1-1/2 years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 1 year, 6 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Executed

convicted felon, juvenile offender, traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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I remember the morning that this happened. It was almost shift change and I was getting off duty at Troop K, the Troop just north of Troop I, where Donald was posted. The shame of it all was that the traffic stop was for a tail light violation. Worst yet, the individual who murdered Donald had just been released from Juvenile Detention for the murder of a taxi cab driver. It had been determined by a qualified Psychologist that the murder, would never ever be an asset to society and that he would murder again, yet he had been released. "The psychiatrist therefore recommended a lengthy confinement, followed by transfer to permanent facilities. "

Of special note: The murder's son, born while his dad was awaiting execution was himself convicted of the 2001 death of a 14-month old baby. The second generation murder is currently serving a 60-year sentence in the same prison his father was executed in.

Larry A. Gould, PhD, Retired Sergent LSP
Louisiana State Police, Troop K

August 28, 2021

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