Newly Released Bodycam Footage Raises Questions About Two Years Old Deadly Arrest of Black Man in Louisiana

Family members of Ronald Greene listen to speakers as they gather at the Lincoln Memorial during the ‘Get Your Knee Off Our Necks’ march in support of racial justice in Washington, U.S., August 28, 2020. Michael M. Santiago/Pool via REUTERS

Newly published bodycam footage shows Louisiana state troopers punching, dragging and stunning a Black man who died in custody two years ago, raising fresh questions about a case that is already the subject of a federal civil rights investigation.

Lawyers for the family of Ronald Greene planned to discuss the video at a Wednesday news conference after the Associated Press obtained footage from an officer’s body camera and released several clips.

The Louisiana State Police, which has refused to release the footage, said in a statement that the “unauthorized release of evidence undermines the investigative process” but did not comment on the video’s contents.

Authorities initially told Greene’s family that the 49-year-old had died in a car crash after a high-speed chase, before later releasing a statement saying he had struggled with troopers and died on the way to a hospital.

The case received renewed attention after the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in police custody last year set off nationwide protests. Derek Chauvin, the police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck in a widely circulated video, was convicted in April of murdering Floyd.

The Louisiana video shows Greene apologizing to police and saying, “I’m scared,” as they repeatedly hit him with a Taser, the AP reported. One clip shows an officer dragging a facedown Greene along the ground after he has been shackled.

The U.S. Justice Department launched an investigation into the incident last year. Greene’s family has filed a federal lawsuit against police.

State authorities are also still investigating, according to the state police. None of the officers has been charged with a criminal offense.

Protests were planned on Wednesday in North Carolina, where prosecutors on Tuesday said they would not bring charges against sheriff’s deputies who killed Andrew Brown, a Black man, during an attempted arrest.

SOURCE: Reuters, Joseph Ax

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