Ronald Greene: Family of Black man who police claim died in car crash says bodycam clip shows cops beating him
The family of Ronald Greene, a Black man who police claimed died in a car crash, have released a harrowing picture of his battered face after they viewed secret bodycam footage that shows him being choked, beaten, and hogtied by cops just moments before his death. Greene, 49, died last year in May in Lincoln Parish after a high-speed chase with Louisiana State Troopers. The troopers, at the time, had claimed that Greene "died on impact" after he crashed his car into a tree. Greene's family members, however, were shown graphic bodycam footage of the incident this week. The clip had reportedly been kept secret. The family's attorney, in a statement, said that Greene escaped the crash seemingly unscathed, post which the officers violently attacked him. He also claimed that footage reportedly shows that Greene had put his hand in the air, saying "I'm sorry" to the troopers before he was beaten and tasered multiple times.
The footage of the incident has emerged amidst the last development in the case two weeks ago after a 27-second audio clip was released where one of the troopers, identified as Chris Hollingsworth, was heard boasting that he "beat the ever-living f*** out of him." According to the medical report, a responding doctor was reportedly immediately suspicious about the cause of Greene's death when his body arrived at the hospital with two taser probes attached to his back. An FBI investigation is reportedly underway in the case.
There is now increasing pressure on Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards to publicly release the bodycam footage. Out of the six troopers present at the scene of Greene's death, only Hollingsworth has been fired over the incident. He was terminated from his position on September 21 after an administrative investigation that State Police did not open until August this year. Hollingsworth reportedly died in a single-car crash just hours after he learned he was going to be fired.
The family's attorney, Lee Merritt, after watching the bodycam footage, which police have refused to release publicly, said that the clip shows Greene walking out of his car after the crash despite officers claiming he died on impact, the Associated Press reported. He added that the clip also shows Greene surrendering and telling officers he was "sorry" after he stepped out of the car. "Ronald immediately surrendered at his first contact with law enforcement. When the vehicle stopped, he put his hands up and said 'I'm sorry,'" Merritt, who is also representing Ahmaud Arbery's family, said. "His dying words were, 'I'm sorry.''
The attorney added that the footage then shows troopers choking and beating Greene, repeatedly tasering him and dragging him face-down across the pavement. An officer, at one point, is also seen placing a foot on Green "while another hogties him," Merritt said, adding that the officers used a string of "abusive language" toward Greene during the arrest, with one trooper calling him a "stupid son of a b****."
"The video was very difficult to watch," said Merritt. "It's one of those videos like George Floyd and even Ahmaud Arbery where it's just so graphic," he continued.
The attorney said that Greene's mother and sister were devastated after watching the video and cried "like they were at a funeral." He added: "This family has been lied to the entire time about what happened."