A Police Body Cam Video withheld from the Public for 2 years Reveals the Fatal Arrest of Ronald Greene, a Black Man, as He Pleaded for His Life
The State Troopers from New Orleans were captured on their body camera videos punching, stunning, and dragging a black man while he apologized for his actions of leading them on a high-speed chase. This was the footage of the last moments of the man being alive and was obtained by The Associated Press following the authorities holding on to it for two years.
The arrest has been a subject of investigation of federal civil rights and his case has been kept in secrecy and has involved a lot of cover-ups. The family of the victim had initially been told that his death had been as a result of him crashing into a tree in the chase. Later on, a one-page statement release was released by the State Police putting it into light that the victim had a struggle with the troopers and reached his demise on the way to the hospital.
The incidents of the night in question
The black man, Ronald Greene, was a 49-year-old barber. On the 10th of May 2019, shortly after midnight, Greene did not pull over for an unspecified traffic violation. His location was an averagely of 30 miles to the south of the Arkansas state line. At this point is when the video that AP obtained begins. Greene's SUV was being chased at over 115 mph by Trooper Dakota Demoss on rural highways. DeMoss voiced his concern over the radio that they had to do something as Greene may kill somebody. When he finally stopped, Master Trooper and DeMoss rushed to his SUV and he is seen to raise his hands and repeat saying that he was sorry.
Greene then gets shocked with a stun gun by Hollingsworth shortly after through the side window of the driver and he is demanded to get out of the car. Greene steps out using the passenger side. He is wrestled to the ground by the troopers and one says that Greene was grabbing him as they try to get him handcuffed. Greene is then stricken multiple times and then handcuffed. Trooper Kory then drags Greene while he is handcuffed on his stomach despite him not resisting. The troopers then leave Greene there moaning in pain as they clean his blood off them. One of them even laments that he hopes Greene does not have AIDS.
After some time, Greene is seen being loaded in an ambulance although he seems unresponsive considering he is bleeding a lot. Hollingsworth is heard saying that he choked Greene while trying to have leverage over him and Greene sput blood then went limp all of a sudden.
There were quite a several times throughout the video where the troopers cut off their microphones and Greene is not seen and therefore making it complicated to know the entire story of the arrest.
Remarks on Greene’s case
The State Police of Louisiana refrained from giving comments about the video and said that the files being released publicly in that manner undermined their process of investigation. This came after they had claimed that the troopers’ use of force had been rightfully justified and only opened an investigation 474 days after the victim’s death.
A former police chief Andrew Scott pointed out that the police department blocking out information makes their reliance questionable. Charles Key, an expert in the use of force pointed out as well that the troopers’ decision to leave Greene unattended to on the ground while handcuffed was quite wrong considering the police is trained to do the exact opposite of that after getting someone under control.
The family of Greene filed a lawsuit of federal wrongful death with the claims that the troopers brutalized Greene till he had a cardiac arrest. They released photographs of him that showed he had cuts as well as deep bruises on his face and head.
The fate of the involved troopers
York got suspended with no pay for 50 hours because of his actions and Hollingsworth got into a car crash and died just hours after finding out he had lost his job due to his actions in Greene's case. DeMoss was arrested due to having involvement in yet another forceful arrest.
The cause of Greene’s death remains unclear as the doctor who attended to him said that on arrival Greene was already dead and had two stun-gun prongs on his back while the Coroner Renee ruled it out as an accident. What is certain is that he was not handled in a way any human deserves to be handled, in the wrong or not.