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.