Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Trooper Donald Charles Cleveland

Louisiana State Police, Louisiana

End of Watch Saturday, July 2, 1977

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Reflections for Trooper Donald Charles Cleveland

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

Thank you for your service and always know that your sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in peace.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

July 2, 2020

Rest in peace Trooper Cleveland.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

January 20, 2020

Its sad that this happened, a cop murdered and sending a 17 year old killer to the chair (legal in 1990), at least your killer showed some remorse before his death. Thank you


July 30, 2016

Am not from USA. Am from Kenya. In 1992, I saw a film in memory of the slain policeman. It has been many years of reflection on the dangers policemen face to protect us. You will always be remembered.


July 27, 2016



September 13, 2015

Time may have passed but you are not forgotten. I believe as long as someone remembers you or speaks your name, you are still with us.
Thank you for your heroism.
GOD Bless

Detention Officer A.Zambito

July 4, 2015

Oh, how I remember this day. We were just coming on watch at Troop K in Opelousas. Several of us were "sent" to Lafayette Parish to assist in the apprehension of his assassin. I will not mention his name, because he deserves no comment. In sum, a Louisiana State Trooper was killed in the line of duty over a tail light violation, but another individual who was never never socialized to live among human being.

Sgt. Larry A. Gould, PHD (retired)
Louisiana State Police

July 23, 2014

This summer the highway you gave your life on was memoralized as "Trooper Donald C Cleveland Memorial Highway." A bold sign stands at each end of the roadway, reminding those of us who remember you of the man you were, and warning the Troopers then too young to remember to always be vigilent.
Each time I pass the sign, I slow down and salute, to remember your sacrifice. I encourage others officers to do the same.
God rides with us all, and brings us home.

M/T Murphy Meyers, Jr
Louisiana State Poice Troop I

December 16, 2013

Your name, honor and integreity are still very much revered in our agency. God Bless.

Lt. O'Neal Wascom
Louisiana State Police Troop A

November 3, 2013

There is never a day that goes by when you are not in my thoughts. Our family has not been the same since we lost you. i miss you !!

Your brother in law

David Smith
brother in law

May 7, 2012

God take care of you Trooper--I remember that day like yesderday---sa JUSTICE has been served for your killer
I pray for your family that they may cope-with your loss
from them---as God is your caregiver now
It is ashamed in our justice system--that justice was NOT
served in John Mark Hardy--dec 1992--for his killer
As his killer will eat a christmas dinner and thanksgiving
dinner and John will NOT---His family especially Mike
I recall at the court room--was in my opinion disapointed
in theoutcome--however---one day --like they say
You have to pay your dues----
Rest and sleep Donald---as You were a good officer
God Bless---


August 4, 2009

The Badge"
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

November 1, 2007

Don, It doesn't seem that long ago we were troopers at Troop A. You are truly a hero to all of us. Thanks for being my friend. Buddy, I miss ya.

Captain Brad Tullier (retired)
Louisiana State Police

December 26, 2005

My deepest gratitude to you and your sacrifice. Brother, you will never be forgotten. God bless you.

Officer C. Walker
Plano PD, Texas

September 12, 2005

We'll carry the torch now. Rest in peae brother.

VT Trooper

July 20, 2005

Your sacrifice is not forgotten even 30 years later...Rest easy Troop...

Tennessee Highway Patrol

May 9, 2005

Trooper Cleveland,
I would like to say thank you for your service to the citizens of Louisiana. It might have taken a few more years, but your murderer got his justice.


May 6, 2005

Justice has been served for your killer.

Exp. Kyle Matlock
Huber Heights Police Dept., Ohio

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