Screenshots of bodycam footage obtained by the Associated Press from Louisiana State Police. (Louisiana State Police)
Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.A man who led Louisiana State Police on a high-speed chase and later died in custody tried to surrender once he was caught, apologized, and told police he was scared before the cops beat, dragged, and left him facedown for more than nine minutes, according to the Associated Press and video footage released by the outlet.
Ronald Greene, a Black man, died on May 10, 2019, after refusing to pull over for a traffic violation and allegedly leading officers on a 115 mile-per-hour car chase, according to the AP. Police initially told Greene’s family that he died after crashing into a tree, and only later acknowledged he died after a struggle with state troopers, according to the AP. In the two years since, the Louisiana State Police has resisted the public release of the footage, according to the AP. It’s unclear how the outlet obtained the footage. The Union Parish Coroner’s Office initially ruled Greene’s death the accidental result of a car crash, but didn’t include any mention of the struggle with police, according to the AP. An emergency room doctor’s medical report obtained by the outlet last year reportedly found that Greene was bloody and bruised, and that he had stun gun prongs in his back when he got to the hospital, according to the AP. “Does not add up,” the doctor said of the cops’ story that Greene “died on impact” after the crash.On Wednesday the Associated Press published three short clips from police footage. (The full video has not been published). In the videos, troopers are shown wrestling Greene to the ground, choking, kicking, punching, and repeatedly stunning him, according to the AP.
Afterward, Greene can be seen on video facedown and moaning as troopers wipe blood off their bodies with sanitizer wipes, according to the AP. One cop is heard saying in one clip: “I hope this guy ain’t got fucking AIDS.” Louisiana State Police did not comment on the video itself but told the AP that the “premature public release of investigative files and video evidence in this case is not authorized,” and that the release “undermines the investigative process and compromises the fair and impartial outcome.” In another clip posted by the AP, a trooper rushes toward Greene’s car and says “Let me see your fucking hands, motherfucker” as police can be heard firing a stun gun. “OK, OK. I'm sorry,” Greene says. “Officer, I'm scared. I'm your brother. I'm scared.”Another clip shows Greene wailing in pain as he’s wrestled to the ground, stunned, and struck multiple times by Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth. In a third clip that doesn’t have audio, Master Trooper Kory York is shown dragging Greene facedown across the ground by his shackled legs. Hollingsworth was captured by his body camera mic saying that he “beat the ever living shit out of that motherfucker,” according to audio obtained by the AP, and previously published last October. Hollingsworth was notified last September that he would be fired, and hours later, he died in a single-car crash in Monroe, Louisiana. York was suspended for 50 hours without pay earlier this year after an internal investigation. York turned his body camera off before the events leading to Greene’s death. Greene’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Louisiana State Police last May, and in addition to the FBI investigation, the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division is investigating, CNN reported. “They murdered him. It was set out, it was planned,” Greene’s mother, Mona Hardin, told the AP Wednesday. “He didn’t have a chance. Ronnie didn’t have a chance. He wasn’t going to live to tell about it.”