Five Louisiana police officers were charged in the deadly 2019 arrest of Ronald Greene on Thursday.
Five Louisiana police officers were charged in the deadly 2019 arrest of Ronald Greene on Friday. An “all-levels” investigation into how state government handled the arrest has called into question the actions of Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards.
- The charges brought against four current and former Louisiana State Police troopers and one Union Parish deputy include negligent homicide, malfeasance in office, and obstruction of justice.
- Louisiana police initially told Greene’s family he had died in a car crash after a police chase, then claimed he died after he resisted arrest and fought with officers on the scene.
- It would take nearly two years before the release of long-suppressed body-camera footage revealed the officers, who were all white, beating Greene, who was black, to death as he cried, “I’m scared.”
- The arrests of the five officers represent the first charges in Greene’s death, more than three years later.
- Speaker Clay Schexnayder, a Republican, launched a bipartisan legislative inquiry into Edwards’ role in the 2019 arrest in February. Edwards learned about the circumstances of Greene’s death almost immediately, was in the midst of a tight reelection battle, and kept silent until nearly two years later – after he won reelection.
- Edwards continues to stonewall inquiries into Greene’s death, most recently skipping a November hearing held by the panel investigating the case, citing a “scheduling conflict.”
- The New York Times noted Chris Hollingsworth, another trooper who played a role in Greene’s arrest, was killed in a single-vehicle highway crash in 2020 just hours after he learned he’d be fired from the police force for his part in Greene’s death.
- NPR broke down the three separate, ongoing investigations into Louisiana’s handling of the Greene case: The Union Parish district attorney is prosecuting the police officers, the Justice Department has commissioned a sweeping review of Louisiana State Police, and a legislative inquiry is scrutinizing Edwards’ role in a possible coverup.
- The Guardian reported federal prosecutors have been “tight-lipped” about when the federal grand jury investigation into the higher levels of Louisiana State police could make a decision on potential charges.
- Breitbart provided background on the five officers and the different charges they face. One officer, Kory York, was charged with negligent homicide and ten other counts. Three officers were charged with obstruction of justice, while the fifth faces malfeasance in office charges.
- The Daily Mail emphasized authorities’ initial claim that Greene died in a car crash was known to be inaccurate by officials at the highest levels of state government – including the governor’s office – almost immediately. Even so, Edwards stayed silent for nearly two years while police pressed the car crash fiction yet claims he did nothing to impede the investigation.
- The Wall Street Journal noted the federal probe, “known as a pattern-or-practice investigation, aims to determine whether the state police engages in excessive force and racially discriminatory policing against Black residents and other people of color.”
© Dominic Moore, 2022