Union Parish, LA — The family of Ronald Greene as well as the public at large were all told a tragic but utterly false story about this 49-year-old Louisiana man’s last moments alive. According to officials, Greene died after his car crashed into a “tree/shrub” just outside Monroe on May 10, 2019. However, we have since learned everything they were told was a lie after body camera video surfaced and painted an entirely different picture. Greene’s death was not a result of the crash and the department engaged in a coverup.
The Louisiana State Police are crying foul this week after footage was leaked to the national press of officers torturing Greene to death on the side of the road. The LSP claim the footage, which was published by the Associated Press is “premature” and was “not authorized.”
The family of Greene has been calling for the release of the footage for two years which hardly makes it “premature.” Nevertheless, the LSP insisted on throwing a temper tantrum, telling WAFB:
“The investigation into the death of Ronald Greene remains under review by federal and state authorities. The premature public release of investigative files and video evidence in this case is not authorized and was not obtained through official sources.
LSP is confident in the judicial system and fair review of this incident and continues to offer our full cooperation. Unauthorized release of evidence undermines the investigative process and compromises the fair and impartial outcome for the Greene family, LSP employees, and the community,” a spokesperson for the law enforcement agency said.
According to police, Greene was targeted for a traffic stop for a unknown violation on that night. Before he could pull over, Greene wrecked his car. When we look at the photos of the car which were released by the family last year, it looks like a minor fender bender. Nevertheless, the Louisiana State Troopers claimed that Greene died in the wreck.
Troopers made no mention of the use of force — or even arresting Greene — in the State Police crash report obtained by the AP but they did state in their notes that he was not wearing a seat belt in the crash.
“We were told that he died in a high-speed chase of head injuries after crashing into a tree,” Greene’s mother, Mona Hardin, told the AP. “There was no major damage to the car.”
As the newly leaked video shows, Greene was alive and well after the crash and records released this week by the Associated Press tell the truth of what happened that night. He spent the last moments of his life apologizing to the cops for not stopping soon enough — as they choked, punched, tasered, and stomped the life out him.
The video shows troopers choking and beating the man, repeatedly jolting him with stun guns and dragging him face-down across the pavement.
Though this is the first time the video has been publicly released, as noted above, the family and their attorneys were able to watch the body camera video in October. What they witnessed was utterly shocking and horrifying.
At one point, an officer is seen placing a foot on Greene “while another hogties him,” attorney Lee Merritt said. One trooper can be heard calling Greene a “stupid son of a b——,” Merritt said, while another cautions that “we shouldn’t tase him any more.”
The violence was entirely uncalled for as Greene had immediately surrendered after the crash.
“Ronald immediately surrendered at his first contact with law enforcement. When the vehicle stopped, he put his hands up and said, ‘I’m sorry,'” Merritt said. “His dying words were, ‘I’m sorry.'”
One of the main culprits in the beating was Louisiana State Police Trooper Christopher Hollingsworth and after he was put on notice that he was under investigation last year, Hollingsworth died in a single car crash.
Previously, the only portion of the video that was obtained by the media was a 27-second audio clip. The clip is essentially a confession from Hollingsworth in which he is heard telling a fellow cop, “I beat the ever-living f— out of” Greene and “he was spitting blood everywhere, and all of a sudden, he just went limp.”
As the video below shows, police beat and tortured Greene until he could no longer speak and then forced him to stay face down in the dirt. When he would try to roll over to breathe, a cop walks back over to him and begins stomping on his face, neck, and lower back.
The photos of Greene’s body released by the family last year show that Greene had been savagely beaten and now we have the video to prove it.
The family has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the State Troopers and they will undoubtedly win.
The ACLU also released a statement after the body cam footage was made public. It read in part:
“Nearly two years after Ronald Greene’s death, we now know what Louisiana State Police were trying to hide: Ronald Greene was tortured to death by officers who denied him life-saving aide for more than nine minutes. What we are witnessing on this video is a brutal killing – a killing that was committed by cops but also condoned by our laws, perpetuated by white supremacy, and encouraged by a culture of impunity and violence.
Mona Hardin, Ronald Greene’s mother urges, ‘This was a premeditated taking of Ronnie’s life.’ Moreover, ‘what state police leadership have referred to as ‘awful but lawful’ is nothing more than corruption and an unjustifiable murder.’
Once again, we have proof that another unarmed Black man has been brutally killed by cops – we are deeply sympathetic to his family who have to watch this horrific video and grieve their loved one because of the actions of police officers who still have not been held accountable. The fact that Ronald Greene’s family had to wait two years after his death for this footage to be released to the public is an unacceptable miscarriage of justice that needs to be addressed now.
Below is that video.