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Friday, 16 October 2020

Family of black man who cops claimed died in a car crash release photo of his battered face after viewing secret bodycam footage that shows him being 'choked, beaten and hogtied'

 The family of a black man who cops claimed died in a car crash have released a harrowing photo of his battered face after viewing secret bodycam footage that shows him being choked, beaten and hogtied by officers moments before his death. 

Ronald Greene, 49, died in May 2019 in Lincoln Parish following a high-speed chase with Louisiana State Troopers. 

Troopers at the time said Greene 'died on impact' after crashing his car into a tree at the end of the pursuit. 

Greene's devastated family members were this week shown graphic bodycam footage which had been kept secret. 

The family's attorney said that it shows that Greene not only escaped seemingly unscathed from the crash but that officers violently attacked him afterward.

The half-hour footage reveals Greene had put his hands in the air and said 'I'm sorry' to the troopers before being beaten and tasered multiple times, an attorney for the family said.   

The family of Ronald Greene, 49, (pictured) who cops claimed died in a car crash viewed secret bodycam footage that shows him being choked, beaten, hogtied, jolted with stun guns and dragged face-down across the pavement by officers moments before his death

The family of Ronald Greene, 49, (pictured) who cops claimed died in a car crash viewed secret bodycam footage that shows him being choked, beaten, hogtied, jolted with stun guns and dragged face-down across the pavement by officers moments before his death

Mona Hardin (Greene's mother) speaks at a news conference outside the Louisiana State Capitol on October 7. Greene's devastated family members were this week shown graphic bodycam footage which had been kept secret

Mona Hardin (Greene's mother) speaks at a news conference outside the Louisiana State Capitol on October 7. Greene's devastated family members were this week shown graphic bodycam footage which had been kept secret

Greene's vehicle with damage mainly to the rear end, contrasting police accounts that he died 'on impact' from injuries related to a car wreck

Greene's vehicle with damage mainly to the rear end, contrasting police accounts that he died 'on impact' from injuries related to a car wreck 

This latest development comes two weeks after the release of a 27-second audio clip where one of the troopers, Chris Hollingsworth, is heard boasting that he 'beat the ever-living f*** out of him'.

A medical report also reveals a doctor was immediately suspicious about the cause of Greene's death when his body arrived at the hospital with two taser probes still attached to his back. 

Pressure is mounting on Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards to publicly release the bodycam footage and an FBI investigation is under way.  


Hollingsworth is so far the only trooper of the six at the scene to be fired over the incident on September 21 following an administrative investigation that State Police did not open until August this year.

Hollingsworth died in a single-car crash hours after he leaned he was going to be fired. 

The damning 30-minute bodycam footage, which police have refused to release publicly, shows Greene walked out of his car after it crashed despite officer claims he died on impact in the wreck, the family's attorney Lee Merritt told the Associated Press after watching the video.

It also shows Greene surrendered and told officers he was 'sorry' as soon as his vehicle came to a stop.

'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.''   

Merritt, who is also representing the family of Ahmaud Arbery, said the footage then shows troopers choking and beating Greene, repeatedly jolting him with stun guns and dragging him face-down across the pavement. 

At one point, an officer is seen placing a foot on Greene 'while another hogties him,' he said. 

The troopers used a string of 'abusive language' toward him during the arrest, with one trooper heard calling Greene a 'stupid son of a b**', Merritt said. 

At one point, one trooper appears to grow concerned for Greene cautioning the others that 'we shouldn't tase him any more.' 

'The video was very difficult to watch,' said Merritt.

Greene's family released a harrowing photo of his battered face, covered in bruises after the incident

Greene's family released a harrowing photo of his battered face, covered in bruises after the incident

Ronald Greene, 49,, died in May 2019 in Lincoln Parish following a high-speed chase with Louisiana State Troopers
Troopers at the time said Greene 'died on impact' after crashing his car into a tree at the end of the pursuit

Ronald Greene, 49, (pictured) died in May 2019 in Lincoln Parish following a high-speed chase with Louisiana State Troopers. Troopers at the time said Greene 'died on impact' after crashing his car into a tree at the end of the pursuit

'It's one of those videos like George Floyd and even Ahmaud Arbery where it's just so graphic.' 

He told how Greene's devastated mother and sister wailed 'like they were at a funeral' Wednesday after watching the video for the first time Wednesday as they released a graphic photo of their son and brother's badly beaten face after the incident. 

The photo shows deep bruises to his face and cuts on his head. 

'This family has been lied to the entire time about what happened,' said Merritt.  

Greene's family and the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus are calling on the governor to order the release of the full bodycam videos from all six troopers on the scene.

'While the video may fall within the exception of Louisiana's public records law, it is imperative that in an effort of full transparency and public trust the video be released immediately,' the caucus said in a statement.

Governor Edwards met with Greene's family this week.

He said he had previously viewed the video which he called 'disturbing' but has stopped short of releasing the video publicly.  

'[The video is] disturbing for lots of reasons, but I'm not going to go through everything on the video here,' Edwards said Thursday. 

'Anytime you see video you know captures the events surrounding someone's death it's disturbing. 

'But I'm not going to characterize my feelings about the video here.'

Edwards said state and federal prosecutors deemed it appropriate for Greene's family to watch the video, but they believe it 'would be detrimental for that video to be made public while it is in fact evidence that they are considering.' 

The video is the latest piece of evidence that casts serious doubt over the version of events reported by law enforcement. 

Questions are mounting over what truly caused Greene's death, why State Police initially blamed it on a car crash and why they waited more than a year to discipline one of the responding officers.  

This latest development comes two weeks after the release of a 27-second audio clip where one of the troopers, Chris Hollingsworth, (pictured) is heard boasting that he 'beat the ever-living f*** out of him'. Hollingsworth was fired in September and died in a car crash hours after

This latest development comes two weeks after the release of a 27-second audio clip where one of the troopers, Chris Hollingsworth, (pictured) is heard boasting that he 'beat the ever-living f*** out of him'. Hollingsworth was fired in September and died in a car crash hours after

Audio from Louisiana trooper reportedly describing beating of black man
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The 27-second audio clip of the incident acquired by the Associated Press on October 1 revealed Hollingsworth bragging about beating Greene to a colleague.

'I beat the ever-living f*** out of him,' the trooper is heard saying.

'Choked him and everything else trying to get him under control. 

'We finally got him in handcuffs when a third man got there. And the son of a b*** was still fighting, they were still wrestling with him, trying to hold him down. 

'He was spitting blood everywhere. Then all of a sudden he just went limp.'  

A medical report, also obtained by the AP, also shows an emergency room doctor doubted the initial police account of Greene's death from the moment he arrived dead at the hospital, bruised and bloodied with two stun-gun prongs in his back.

The medical report - cited in a federal wrongful death lawsuit but not previously made public - has been held up by Greene's family as evidence that troopers were actively engaged in a cover up.

Dr. Omokhuale Omokhodion wrote 'does not add up' in his medical report. 

 Omokhodion wrote that law enforcement ultimately told him Greene 'had been involved in a fight and struggle with them where he was tased three times.' 

Two taser probes were still stuck in Greene's back when he arrived at Glenwood Regional Medical Center in West Monroe.

'History seems to be disjointed,' Omokhodion wrote in his report. 

'Different versions are present.' 

Greene died in May 2019 following a chase near Monroe over an unspecified traffic violation.

Officers initially said he died 'on impact' with a tree and his death was ruled accidental and attributed to cardiac arrest.

The troopers' version of events was already cast in doubt - prior to the release of the bodycam, audio and the medical report - as a photo of Greene's car showed no damage or blemishes on the front end of the vehicle.  

Greene's daughter filed a wrongful death lawsuit in May 6 saying the troopers caused her father's death.

‘Greene was brutalized by Louisiana State police and Union Parish Deputy Officers which caused his death,’ the lawsuit says.

‘The lethal force used against Greene was unprovoked, unjustified, unreasonable, excessive, and in violation of Greene’s rights under the United States Constitution and the laws of the State of Louisiana.' 

Greene's family has filed a lawsuit and is calling for Governor John Bel Edwards to publicly release the bodycam footage from all six troopers at the scene

Greene's family has filed a lawsuit and is calling for Governor John Bel Edwards to publicly release the bodycam footage from all six troopers at the scene 

The lawsuit says Greene was driving a silver Toyota on U.S. 80 in Monroe, Louisiana, when a trooper says he attempted to initiate a traffic stop of Greene's car.

The trooper could not relay what violation of the motor vehicle code justified the stop, the suit states.   

A vehicle pursuit continued into Union Parish when Greene's car swerved and crashed into a wooded area, court documents said.

Notably, the lawsuit claims that Greene was able to exit the vehicle without assistance.

'Greene was not injured and could walk, speak and otherwise function in a healthy manner after the crash,' the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit contends troopers deployed a taser on Greene three times during the struggle after he exited his car and allegedly apologized to the troopers. 

Court documents say emergency crews arrived to the scene and found Greene unresponsive.

'When the Emergency Medical Technicians arrived at 12:51am they found Greene unresponsive,' the lawsuit said. 

'He was propped up against an officer's leg, covered in blood with multiple 'TASER' Bards penetrating his body.' 

He was pronounced dead at 1.27am. 

An FBI investigation was finally opened in August - more than a year on from the black man's death. 

Hollingsworth was fired in September and died in a car crash hours after learning of his firing. 

The State Police have refused to comment on the trooper's use of force or say why he was fired.  

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