By Carmen Roxanna (Farmerville, LA) – More than three years later, an indictment secured by District Attorney John Belton’s office marks the first criminal charges over a deadly traffic stop that killed unarmed motorist, Ronald Greene, in 2019. A grand jury in Farmerville, LA charged Master Trooper Kory York with one count of negligent homicide and 10 counts of malfeasance. Additionally, Lt. John Clary is accused of one count of malfeasance and one count of obstruction; Trooper Dakota DeMoss is accused of one count of obstruction of justice; and retired Capt. John Peters, a former Troop F commander, is accused of one count of obstruction. Union Parish Deputy Chris Harpin was charged with three counts of obstruction of justice.
Ronald Greene, 49, died in the early hours of May 10, 2019 after Louisiana state troopers chased him from Monroe into Union Parish until his rental car crashed. Troopers Dakota DeMoss and Christopher Hollingsworth were the first to make contact with him, charging at his vehicle; Hollingsworth repeatedly tasing him before he is beaten by other arriving officers. Greene was forced prone on his belly until he went limp and died. The details of Greene’s death remained concealed from the public — and family — for a whole year until his family filed a federal lawsuit in May 2020 alleging the officers used excessive force. According to The Advocate, Hollingsworth was caught on a recording, telling a friend just moments after leaving the scene that he “beat the ever-living f–k” out of Greene. Hollingsworth died in a car accident shortly after his termination was announced for his role in Greene’s death.
“Even though I’m glad for the arrests, it’s about what you’re going to make of the arrests. There needs to be substantial time for a cop who murders while in uniform,” Mona Hardin, Greene’s mother, said Thursday night after the indictments. In a statement, State Police reps said “any instance of excessive force jeopardizes public safety and is a danger to our communities. The statement continued, “These actions are inexcusable and have no place in professional public safety services. As a result of today’s indictment, Trooper Kory York and Lt. John Clary will be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the legal proceedings.”
Greene’s death was one of several uses of excessive force by Louisiana state troopers against Black motorists, helping build ongoing federal civil rights probes into the agency.