It took two years for Louisiana State Police to release the body cam footage of the May 10, 2019 arrest of Ronald Greene, which only went viral after the disturbing video was obtained by the Associated Press. But now Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is speaking out.
"I wouldn't have been disturbed had I thought it was professional, had I thought those officers had performed as they should — they did not,” Bel Edwards said to reporters at the state Capitol in Baton Rouge, according to CBS News. "They don't represent what we aspire to in the state of Louisiana, at the Louisiana State Police, especially once Mr. Greene was not just in custody but was restrained.
“They were not professional,” he continued. “They did not conduct themselves as a law enforcement officer should, and quite frankly I'm disappointed in officers who were on the scene who didn't intervene as well. That evidences a lack of professionalism also. It is regrettable, it is unfortunate… We have implemented a number of changes with the goal of making sure this does not happen again."
Col. Lamar Davis, the state police superintendent since October 2019, said last week the agency had limited chokeholds and stun guns.
However, CBS News reports, despite Bel Edwards saying the incident was “regrettable,” the Democratic governor refused several requests to release the footage and said it would be "detrimental" to an ongoing federal civil rights investigation into Greene's death.
The video shows Greene’s door opening and a taser going off. "OK, OK," he is heard saying. "I'm sorry. I'm scared. Officer, I'm scared. I'm your brother. I'm scared."
An officer approaches Green’s car with his weapon drawn. "Let me see your [expletive] hands [expletive]."
After being tased, Greene can be heard moaning while still on the ground and being put in handcuffs by an officer while another kicks him several times. One cop can be heard saying, "I've got blood all over me, I hope this guy ain't got [expletive] AIDS," as Greene continues to moan. Greene is also dragged at one point in the video.
It’s unknown who or how the original footage was leaked to the Associated Press, however, the outlet also reports Greene was left lying face down and moaning for more than nine minutes while officers used sanitized wipes to clean blood off themselves.
According to a preliminary report, Louisiana State Police claimed Greene died due to an auto accident after a high speed chase, which now appears to be false. The initial state police report does not mention state troopers using force or an arrest.
The LSP’s report said two officers pursued a vehicle being driven by Greene following an attempt to pull over Greene for an unspecified traffic violation and the pursuit ended when Greene crashed his vehicle.
In May 2020, Greene’s daughter filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against the officers and claimed her father was "brutalized by Louisiana State Police and Union Parish Deputy Officers which caused his death."
According to CNN, a report from the Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division revealed that Greene died on the way to the hospital.
(Photo: AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)