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Body camera video shows deadly state trooper arrest of Ronald Greene

Published: May. 19, 2021 at 10:37 PM CDT|Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 10:39 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Video of a local black man tased, dragged, and beaten during a traffic stop in Union Parish is sparking outrage.

Ronald Greene died in police custody in 2019 after a chase that began in Ouachita Parish. Louisiana State Police says video of the chase was leaked and could compromise the investigation. But family members say it’s a chance for justice.

The leaked video shows a subdued West Monroe man pinned to the ground by state police. He later died in their custody. In the video, you can hear the officers commanding Ronald Greene to comply with an order, the crackling sound of a stun gun, and Greene’s screams.

“They obviously had no real interest in this video ever coming out to public light but transparency is necessary for the community,” Greene’s family attorney, Lee Merrit said.

This is the first time the public is witnessing what happened during Greene’s arrest after a high-speed chase from Ouachita to Union Parish in May 2019.

“Mr. Greene’s inclination at that particular point was to acquiesce to the officer,” says Use of Force Expert Andrew Scott.

Scott says the troopers involved violated police training protocol multiple times.

“Under no circumstances should Mr. Greenee have been drug by his ankle shackles. That was malicious, sadistic, completely unnecessary and the officer who did it is going to be held accountable,” Scott said.

Greene’s family filed this wrongful death lawsuit seeking 5-million dollars to hold state police accountable. This document says members of LSP administration and seven troopers on the scene caused Greene’s death and then tried to hide it by concealing the video. And they initially said he died after crashing into a tree.

“I believe that there are issues of structural racism that are rampant in American policing, said Alanah Odoms, Louisiana ACLU Executive Director.

Odoms says instances of police brutality must be challenged in court. She says establishing a precedent is important because it helps hold officers accountable. Especially when officers have qualified immunity—which is a legal doctrine that keeps them safe from civil lawsuits.

“It also looks like challenging qualified immunity. That means we’ve got to build up the amount of the case law so that clearly established law is broader. So that when additional cases are brought, the court can look back to the clearly established law and say, ‘yes there is a case very similar to this therefore your case can proceed,” Odoms said.

The LSP says it is confident in the judicial system and fair review of this incident and continues to offer its full cooperation. They also say the leaked video could harm the investigation. But the family’s attorney says it’s a step toward justice.

“First real chance in 2 years that the Greene family gets a fair shot at the community making the proper evaluation as to whether or not this is the kind of policing we’ve come to expect,” Merrit said.

Merrit says this is the chance for the U.S. Department of Justice to make arrests. And hopes regional jurors will hand down indictments soon.

State police say the case remains under review by state and federal investigation. Court Documents for the case can be found below.

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