Newly-Released Body Cam Footage Shows Louisiana State Troopers Beating A Man To Death

from the followed-by-months-of-lies-and-obfuscation dept

Two years after cops killed Ronald Greene following a car chase, the Louisiana State Police have finally released the recordings. Greene led officers on a high-speed chase before being stopped, subdued, and ultimately killed. Here's how the State Police described it two years ago when it still had control of the narrative.

Greene allegedly sped away, and a chase continued for over 20 miles until Green wrecked near the intersection of Louisiana 2 and Highway 143 in Union Parish.

After the wreck, troopers allegedly attempted to take Greene into custody. An altercation with troopers allegedly followed until Greene was handcuffed.

According to LSP, Greene became unresponsive after emergency responders arrived on the scene and died on the way to the hospital.

Lots of really passive writing here, with an altercation "allegedly following" and Greene magically "becoming unresponsive" but not until after emergency responders arrived.

But the LSP said something completely different to Greene's family.

Greene’s family has said that police initially told them he died on impact when his car crashed on May 10, 2019, after a police pursuit.

And the officers told the coroner's office roughly the same thing:

An initial crash report from state police did not mention there was a struggle between Greene and the officers.

The final report from the coroner's office noted the injuries were inconsistent with those sustained from a car crash. It noted Greene had a fractured sternum and multiple contusions. It also noted the LSP seemed uninterested in helping the office perform an accurate autopsy.

The autopsy, prepared by the Union Parish Coroner's Office, states in its opinion section that lacerations of Greene's head were "inconsistent with motor vehicle collision injury and most consistent with multiple impacts from a blunt object."

The report notes that "no written incident report was provided despite requests," and that "no detailed information regarding the motor vehicle collision ... was provided. It also notes that "no emergency services medical records were provided" to the coroner's office.

The fix was already in. The coroner's office ultimately decided there was no one to blame for the death other than the injuries and the substances in Greene's system, ultimately chalking it up to cardiac arrest. But now that the recordings have been released, it's pretty clear Greene might have survived the encounter with LSP officers if they hadn't been so enthusiastic about beating him.

Louisiana state troopers were captured on body camera video stunning, punching and dragging a Black man as he apologized for leading them on a high-speed chase -- footage of the man’s last moments alive that The Associated Press obtained after authorities refused to release it for two years.

“I’m your brother! I’m scared! I’m scared!” Ronald Greene can be heard telling the white troopers as the unarmed man is jolted repeatedly with a stun gun before he even gets out of his car along a dark, rural road.

That was just the beginning. The entire ordeal lasted almost 45 minutes. For much of the recording, Greene and the officers can't be seen. When they do reappear, Greene is covered in blood and already pretty much unresponsive. And he's surrounded by people who have no interest in keeping him from dying.

The 46-minute clip shows one trooper wrestling Greene to the ground, putting him in a chokehold and punching him in the face while another can be heard calling him a “stupid motherf---—.”

Greene wails “I’m sorry!” as another trooper delivers another stun gun shock to his backside and warns, “Look, you’re going to get it again if you don’t put your f---—- hands behind your back!” Another trooper can be seen briefly dragging the man facedown after his legs had been shackled and his hands cuffed behind him.

Instead of rendering aid, the troopers leave the heavyset man unattended, facedown and moaning for more than nine minutes, as they use sanitizer wipes to wash blood off their hands and faces.

“I hope this guy ain’t got f------ AIDS,” one of the troopers can be heard saying.

The fine public servants of the Louisiana State Police, wondering whether the beating they've just inflicted might possibly injure them. And there's more. One trooper, Chris Hollingsworth, can be heard in a separate recording telling other troopers at the station that he "beat the everliving fuck" out of Greene.

There should be more recordings. But of course there aren't. Another trooper, Kory York, was suspended without pay for failing to activate his body cam. Six troopers responded to the scene but only one appears to have activated his camera. At one point during the sole recording, the microphone is deactivated, leading to even less information being captured.

The LSP may claim no coverup took place but that's hard to square with the initial reports handed to Greene's family and the coroner's office -- both of which suggested a car accident was to blame for Greene's injuries and death. And it took the LSP 474 days to even bother opening up an investigation into the incident, suggesting LSP officials either didn't want to know what they'd find or, more likely, didn't want to give the public any way of discovering what had actually happened that night.

If you want the public to trust you, you can't lie to them for months and let a questionable incident go uninvestigated for a year-and-a-half. The Louisiana State Police has proven itself unworthy of trust -- both in its inaction and its officers' actions, which needlessly ended a man's life and went mostly undocumented because the troopers knew better than to record their own excessive force and rights violations. It shouldn't take two years for the truth to come out.

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Filed Under: body cam, louisiana, louisiana state police, ronald greene, transparency


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  • identicon
    David, 4 Jun 2021 @ 2:34pm

    Let me guess.

    The remaining body cam recordings released now will cause the DA to spring into action and bill the family of the person bludgeoned to death for the dry-cleaning of those uniforms that the perpetrator was bleeding all over.

    And, of course, the officer that first was too stupid to turn his camera off and then accidentally only turned off audio rather than also the video will get disciplined or fired.

    Not fit to serve. Under some definition of "serve" that may not correspond with the dictionary definition.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 2:45pm

    "The LSP may claim no coverup took place"

    But they are lying.
    This case should be tied to every single LSP case in court.
    They will violate someones rights & murder them to cover it up, so we can trust anything they tell us when they lie in reports?

    While you can't fire them, thanks arbitration, this should really call into question why some outside person (usually cop friendly) gets to make the call that officers who violate the public trust, their oath, their responsibilities, and MURDER someone should still be paid by the state.

    The entire department needs an outside audit as an ongoing criminal enterprise, perhaps federal charges can't be wished away by the local FOP.
    There is no way these murderers didn't share the asswhupping they gave the guy who ran from them and none of them spoke up.
    Until they actually face punishment, this will keep happening across the nation as everyone but the courts begins to understand that some citizens are regularly abused & murdered for nothing more than a cops ego.

    While they want to investigate themselves, its perfectly clear they are incapable of finding the truth or facts. Heads should roll, but so many people want to lick the boots and say he shouldn't have run if he didn't want to die. Can't wait until one of them pissed off a super cop and find themselves terrified they might not survive the encounter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Upstream (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 3:29pm

    Of course, it's not just the LSP

    The [Insert Name of Law Enforcement Agency Here] has proven itself unworthy of trust -- both in its inaction and its officers' actions, which needlessly ended a man's life and went mostly undocumented because the troopers knew better than to record their own excessive force and rights violations.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2021 @ 3:45pm

    This is Louisiana Security Pod 209. You are in violation of Louisiana Revised Statute 32:862. Display your license and registration. You have 20 seconds to comply.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 4 Jun 2021 @ 3:46pm

    "police initially told them he died on impact "

    That part is true, he died from the impact of police fists.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 4 Jun 2021 @ 4:29pm

    Oh look, more murderers with badges

    'We didn't cover this up, we just lied and hid the recordings showing that our officers beat a man to death simply because they and we could.'

    You do not feel 'safe' beating a person to death unless you are damn sure that none of your fellow officers will have a problem with it, so I think it entirely justified to consider every last person at that precinct irrevocably tainted and untrustworthy, and every last one of them should be at a minimum fired and barred from ever holding any taxpayer funded job for the rest of their lives as they've made clear that if they're not blood-thirsty killers they're clearly willing to look the other way to cover for said killers and thus no better.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Annonymouse, 4 Jun 2021 @ 5:03pm

    Are these gangs so heavily armed that the local populace are terrified into inaction?
    If it was the old west these officers would have been given early retirement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2021 @ 7:13pm

    You need to realize this is Louisiana, home of David Duke, and this occurred in Union Parish, a parish that Duke won in 1991. That's not exactly progressive territory.

    I might be wrong, except I'm almost certainly not, if I were to suggest this probably isn't the first time something like this happened there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Jun 2021 @ 1:49am

      Re:

      "I might be wrong, except I'm almost certainly not, if I were to suggest this probably isn't the first time something like this happened there."

      The fact that the Southern Poverty Law Center has an entire study out about racial profiling in Louisiana suggests your hunch is on the money.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    tin-foil-hat, 4 Jun 2021 @ 11:23pm

    Wow

    It reminds me of the lynchings that used to happen. They never really ended.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 4 Jun 2021 @ 11:39pm

      Re: Wow

      It's not a lynching if you are wearing a badge. You don't get qualified immunity when killing without one. Even if the other condition is met, namely that you had a reasonable expectation to get away with it in Louisiana.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2021 @ 2:54pm

        Re: Re: Wow

        No, you don't get qualified immunity without a badge. But KKK lynch mobs used to get county sheriffs who wouldn't arrest you, District Attorneys who wouldn't place chages, Judges who would give jury directions highly favorable to the accused and white juries who wouldn't convict.

        What's the practical difference?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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