Louisiana police charged with fatal arrest of Black motorist | Jobs Recent

FARMERVILLE, La. (AP) – Five Louisiana law enforcement officers were indicted on federal charges ranging from reckless homicide to criminal mischief Thursday in the 2019 fatal arrest of Ronald Greene. These are the first charges to emerge from coroner’s officials charged in the car crash before the release of body camera video that showed white officers beating, stunning and dragging. The Black driver was crying, “I’m scared!”

Greene’s bloody death on the side of a road in rural northeast Louisiana went unnoticed until an Associated Press investigation uncovered it. to close and promote the investigation of the top Louisiana State Police brassa US Justice Department investigation of organization and legal analysis now looking at what Gov. John Bel Edwards knew and when he found out.

Facing the most serious charges from a grand jury was Master Trooper Kory York, who was seen on body camera footage dragging Greene by the chains around his legs and leaving the heavyset man face down on the ground for more than nine minutes. York was charged with reckless homicide and 10 counts of malfeasance in office.

Others, including a Union Parish sheriff’s deputy and three other troopers, were charged with obstruction and obstruction of justice.

“We’re all happy about the charges, but are they going to pay?” said Greene’s mother, Mona Hardin, who for more than three years maintained pressure on public and private investigators and vowed not to hide the burned remains of her “Ronnie” until he gets justice. “As happy as we are, we need something that sticks.”

Union Parish District Attorney John Belton issued arrest warrants for five of the police officers who had been charged.

Belton had previously stayed indicted by the government at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice. But as the years passed and federal prosecutors became increasingly skeptical that they could prove the police acted “intentionally” — a key part of the civil rights crimes they were considering — they granted Belton a continuance this spring to call a jury.

The panel since last month it has considered detailed evidence and evidence related to the use of force by the military and their decision to leave Greene handcuffed for several minutes before rendering aid. And for the first time in this case, a medical expert ruled Greene’s death a homicide.

The federal investigation, which was expanded last year to examine whether state police obstructed justice to protect the military, remains open, and prosecutors have stopped short of saying whether a court would make a decision on the charges against them.

Greene’s May 10, 2019, death was shrouded in secrecy from the start., when authorities told grieving relatives that the 49-year-old died in a car crash at the end of a rush hour near Monroe — a story disputed by his family and even the emergency physician who observed Greene’s battered body. However, the coroner’s report indicated the cause of Greene’s death in a car accident, the state police report left out any mention of military force and 462 days would pass before the state police began an internal investigation.

All the while, the body camera video remained so secret that it was withheld from Greene’s first autopsy and officials from Edwards down refused repeated requests to release it, citing the ongoing investigation.

But last year, the AP found and published footage, which showed what really happened: Troopers swarmed Greene’s car, shocking him repeatedly, hitting him in the head, dragging him with irons and leaving him on the ground for more than nine minutes. minutes. At times, Greene could be heard begging for mercy and crying, “I am your brother! I’m afraid! I’m scared!”

At one point, the trooper orders Greene to “be on your belly————— ————————————————————— The belly as I told you do it!” – advice the use-of-force experts criticized as dangerous and may have restricted his breathing. A sheriff’s deputy can also be heard scoffing, “Yeah, yeah, it hurts, doesn’t it?”

Fallout has brought federal scrutiny not only to the military but to the top brass who have compromised justice to protect them.

Investigators are looking into a meeting in which detectives say state police officials coerced to stop arresting the troopers are seen on video-camera hitting Greene in the head and later boasting, “I beat the ever— out of him.” This soldier, Chris Hollingsworthhe was widely considered the culpable of the 22 officers involved, but he died in a high-speed car crash in 2020 just hours after being told he would be fired for Greene’s arrest.

The AP later learned that Greene’s arrest was among about a dozen other cases in the past decade in which the state police or their superiors have ignored or hidden evidence of the beatings of many blacks, criminalizing and hindering efforts to eradicate the disorder. Hundreds of current and former soldiers said the attacks were rooted in a culture of misogyny, discrimination and, at times, racism.

Such reports were cited by the US Department of Justice this year in the first human rights investigation into the Louisiana State Police, the first “conduct or conduct” investigation. of the world’s government that maintains the law for more than 20 years.

Scrutiny also turned to the actions of the Democratic governor, who oversees the state police.

The legislative body has launched an “all-steps” investigation. in the government’s handling of the Greene case this year after the AP reported that Edwards had been informed within hours that the troopers had arrested Greene for a “long, long fight,” but remained silent. for two years as the police continued to push the car crash theory.

An AP report found Edwards watching in private CCTV footage of Greene’s fatal arrest six months before state prosecutors said they knew it existed, and the governor, his staff and state police rushed to get the footage into the hands of those with the power to prosecute. .

Edwards has repeatedly said he did nothing to interfere with the Greene investigation and has described the military’s actions as criminal and discriminatory.. But they have not yet given evidence in front of the parliament, saying that they could not come to the court last month, but to go to the opening ceremony of the infrastructure project.

“The governor has been consistent in his public statement that he wants to cooperate,” a spokesman told the AP. “That hasn’t changed.”

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