Video footage obtained by the AP of a 2019 arrest in Louisiana reveals the treatment received by 49-year-old Ronald Greene, who died in police custody, after authorities refused to release the body cam footage after two years.
Louisiana state troopers were captured on body camera video stunning, punching and dragging Greene, a Black man, as he apologized for leading them on a high-speed chase.
“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.
Louisiana officials refused to release footage and details of the arrest, initially telling Greene’s family he died on impact after crashing into a tree during the chase. Later, State Police released a one-page statement acknowledging only that Greene struggled with troopers and died on his way to the hospital.
- 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.
- After several minutes in which Greene is not seen on the camera, he reappears limp, unresponsive and bleeding from his head and face. He is then loaded onto an ambulance gurney, his arm cuffed to the bedrail.
In many parts of the video, Greene is not on screen, and the trooper appears to cut the microphone off about halfway through, making it difficult to piece together exactly what was happening at all times. At least six troopers were on the scene of the arrest but not all had their body cameras on.
The Greene family attorney Lee Merritt compared many aspects of the treatment to that of George Floyd, explaining that Greene apologized in an attempt to surrender to police.
Greene’s family has filed a federal wrongful-death lawsuit alleging troopers “brutalized” Greene, and “left him beaten, bloodied and in cardiac arrest” before covering up the cause of death.
Louisiana State Police said the “premature public release of investigative files and video evidence in this case is not authorized and … undermines the investigative process and compromises the fair and impartial outcome.”
Greene, a barber, failed to pull over for an unspecified traffic violation shortly after midnight on May 10, 2019, about 30 miles south of the Arkansas state line. That’s where the video obtained by AP begins, with Trooper Dakota DeMoss chasing Greene’s SUV on rural highways at over 115 mph.
As the chase ended, two troopers rushed the vehicle as Greene apologized with his hands up, saying “Ok,ok. I’m sorry.”
Within seconds one of the troopers, Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth, shoots his stun gun at Greene through the driver’s side window, as Greene exited through the passenger side. The video shows the result.
- Hollingsworth, in a separate recording obtained by AP, can be heard telling a colleague at the office that “he beat the ever-living f— out of” Greene. “Choked him and everything else trying to get him under control,” Hollingsworth is heard saying. “He was spitting blood everywhere, and all of a sudden he just went limp.”
- Hollingsworth later died in a single-vehicle highway crash that happened hours after he learned he would be fired for his role in the Greene case.
The cause of Greene’s death is unclear. Union Parish Coroner Renee Smith told AP last year his death was ruled accidental and attributed to cardiac arrest. Smith, who was not in office when that determination was made, said her office’s file on Greene attributed his death to a car crash and made no mention of a struggle with State Police.
The AP last year also obtained a medical report showing an emergency room doctor noted Greene arrived dead at the hospital, bruised and bloodied with two stun-gun prongs in his back. That led the doctor to question troopers’ initial account that Greene had “died on impact” after crashing into a tree.
“Does not add up,” the doctor wrote.
Story source is AP.