The Louisiana State Police originally said Ronald Greene died after crashing into a tree during a May 2019 high-speed chase. The department didn't open an internal investigation of the incident for another 474 days, only publicly acknowledged Greene was mistreated in February, and won't release the body-camera footage of the deadly arrest, citing fairness and ongoing investigations.
The Associated Press obtained and published some of the body-cam footage Wednesday, and use-of-force expert Andrew Scott, a former police chief, called some of Greene's treatment "malicious, sadistic, completely unnecessary."
Greene, who is Black, led white state troopers on a car chase that reached speeds of 115 mph after an unspecified "traffic violation," according to body-camera footage from Trooper Dakota DeMoss, AP reports. Greene, 49, can be seen raising at least one hand and repeating "I'm sorry" and "I'm scared!" as DeMoss and Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth rush to his car on a dark road outside Monroe, Louisiana.
In the video, "Hollingsworth shocks Greene with a stun gun within seconds through the driver's side window," and after several more jolts, Greene exited the SUV, AP recounts. "The 46-minute clip shows one trooper wrestling Greene to the ground, putting him in a chokehold, and punching him in the face, while another can be heard calling him a 'stupid motherf---er.'" After Greene was handcuffed and compliant, Trooper Kory York dragged him facedown by his leg shackles.
Greene was bloodied, bruised, and in restraints, and "instead of rendering aid, the troopers leave the heavyset man unattended, facedown, and moaning for more than nine minutes, as they use sanitizer wipes to wash blood off their hands and faces," AP reports. One of the troopers can be heard saying, "I hope this guy ain't got f---ing AIDS."
The Justice Department confirmed to The Washington Post on Wednesday it has an open criminal investigation into the incident involving FBI agents and the DOJ civil rights division.
Hollingsworth, who was later recorded telling a colleague he "beat the ever-living f--- out of" Greene, died in a single-car accident last September, hours after learning he was going to be fired for his role in Greene's death, AP reports. York was suspended without pay for 50 hours for dragging Greene and turning off his body camera, and DeMoss was arrested in February for allegedly using excessive force on a 29-year-old Black motorist. Read more at The Associated Press.