The family of Ronald Greene is searching for answers after an autopsy report unveiled last month showed that the man died of a brutal beating by police officers.
The shocking murder was captured on police camera footage on May 10th, 2019. Greene, an unarmed Black man, failed to stop when officers attempted to pull him over. Instead, the 49-year-old led troopers on a midnight chase across northern Louisiana, going up to 115 mph. The chase eventually ended once Greene wrecked his car near Monroe. State police were vague about the details surrounding Greene’s death, telling his family that he died after crashing his car into a tree. The Union Parish medical examiner also listed Greene’s death as a car accident. They did not mention the violent confrontation with officers. However, the new autopsy report released last month stated that Greene died from troopers striking him multiple times in the head and violently restraining him in addition to his cocaine use. The crash and “agitated delirium” are not listed as causes of Greene’s death in the new report conducted before his body was cremated.
For two years, leadership with the Louisiana State Police refused to cooperate and release the body cam footage. The Associated Press was able to obtain the video this spring and published it, which paints a completely different picture of what happened to Greene. Troopers are seen stunning and punching Greene repeatedly as he begs them for mercy.
“I’m your brother! I’m scared! I’m scared!” he screams in the video. One trooper is seen dragging the man by his ankle shackles as he is face down in the dirt for over nine minutes. Eventually, his body goes limp, and Greene is no longer seen moving. Last month, the FBI began investigating Greene’s death, obtaining vehicle black box data and other evidence to assist them in their probe. The mounting new evidence has increased prosecutors’ chances of pursuing charges against the officers involved.
The FBI confirmed that police commanders pressured detectives to refrain from arresting the Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth, who admitted to beating Greene in the head with a flashlight. He was also heard on his body camera footage telling a colleague that he “beat the ever-living f—” out of Greene. Hollingsworth died last year in a car wreck.
Former prosecutor Rafael Goyeneche, who now heads the Metropolitan Crime Commission, says that the new information “yanks the rug from under the defense claim that the accident caused his death.”
Mona Hardin, Greene’s mother, says she felt that officers “took joy in killing” her son.
“They could just beat a man to death – kill him, just let him suffer, see him spit up blood and then cover it up,” Hardin said recently.
Hardin says her son battled with addiction and had recently moved back to Louisiana for a fresh start. He had begun driving trucks and hoped to open his own rehabilitation facility to help others overcome addiction.
As the FBI probe is nearing its end, Hardin says she will not bury her son until justice is served.
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