Spokespeople for a Thursday rally called for charges against Louisiana State Troopers, who stunned, beat, choked and dragged Ronald Greene before his death in May 2019.
“Stay clear and focus on what this is: We want every soldier involved in this incident to be killed immediately. And then, after the dismissal, we want every single soldier involved in this incident to be arrested. And then we want them to be charged, ”said Judy Reese Morse, President and CEO of the Urban League of Louisiana, in front of the Louisiana State Capitol.
Greene, 49, died after being arrested outside Monroe. Louisiana State Police released footage of the incident from body and dash cameras last Friday after The Associated Press released videos of Greene’s arrest earlier this week.
State Police Captain Nick Manale said in an email that the soldiers involved “have already received internal disciplinary measures while awaiting the results of the federal review.” He said the state police continue to cooperate with the investigation and are “confident about the judicial system and a fair review of this incident”.
Alanah Odoms, executive director of the Louisiana ACLU, said at the rally that the soldiers’ actions showed they did not believe in the judicial system: “These officers did not trust the laws of this country … they did not trust the constitution.”
Odoms and other speakers linked Greene’s death to numerous other cases, including Trayford Pellerin, a black man who was fatally shot outside a gas station in Louisiana on August 21.
A lawyer representing Greene’s family called the release of Bodycam footage a “game changer” two years after Greene’s death.
“The public now sees why we said something was wrong,” Ron Haley told USA TODAY. “You see the inhumanity, the brutality and the ruthless indifference of Ronnie’s life.”
Soldiers initially said the Greene family died in the impact after crashing during a high-speed chase, Haley said. State police later said in a statement that Greene fought with soldiers and died on the way to a hospital.
The state police only initiated an administrative investigation into the use of force by the soldiers 474 days after Greene’s death.
Haley also spoke during Thursday’s rally calling for charges against the officials: “Let’s call this what it is – it’s criminal,” Haley said. “The world saw Ronnie Green die in these nine videos. … Did it look like a damn car accident? “
“How did it look?” he asked the crowd.
“Murder,” came the answer.
Greene’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit about a year ago, Haley said. Greene’s death is the subject of a federal civil rights investigation.
‘I am your brother! I’m afraid’:Ronald Greene’s death raises tough questions about the conduct of police officers in Louisiana
Alana Wilson, Greene’s sister, said the family will continue to investigate what happened to Greene.
“It literally tore our family apart, we’ll never be the same,” said Wilson. “We will continue to search every stone that you have covered.”
John Clary, the senior Louisiana state police officer at the site of the fatal arrest, falsely said that internal investigators still threatened Greene after he was shackled, and denied the existence of his own bodycam video for nearly two years. according to police records from The Associated Press.
Trooper Kory York was suspended for 50 hours without pay for dragging Greene and improperly disabling his body camera.
Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth died in a single vehicle highway accident after learning that he would be fired for his role in the Greene case.
Soldier Dakota DeMoss was arrested in connection with a separate police chase last year in which he and two other soldiers allegedly used excessive force while handcuffing a driver.
State Police Superintendent Lamar Davis said last Friday that he was unable to comment on soldiers’ conduct over pending investigations. Davis said policies and procedures have been implemented within the department to prevent similar incidents from happening again.
Odoms pledged to continue to put pressure on state and federal charges against officials involved in Greene’s case.
“Ronald Greene had a family … and his family will not stop fighting for justice.”
Contributors: Ashley White and William Taylor Potter, Lafayette Daily Advertiser; Ian Robinson, Monroe News star; The Associated Press