The Associated Press obtained videos of a fatal 2019 arrest of a Black man in Louisiana, reigniting national outrage about police brutality. On Friday, the AP reported that the 49-year-old Ronald Greene was compelled to stay face down on the floor despite critically low levels of oxygen.
- Greene begged for help in a video published by the Associated Press on Friday when he was pressured to lie on the field, with one cop commenting, “yeah, that’s—- hurts, doesn’t it?” What the news source speculated may have been caused by pepper spray.
- According to the AP, a physician on-site said that Greene’s blood oxygen levels were extremely low at one stage, but it did not appear that anyone supplied him with oxygen after that.
- Police have been hesitant to release information regarding the investigation, originally saying Greene died in a traffic accident and omitting any mention of force, something Greene’s family believes leads to a cover-up.
- Greene’s sister told CNN in an interview Friday afternoon that there has been a cover-up from day one and the state authorities consistently impede the family’s inquiries by saying the case is currently under investigative process.
- According to the AP, an autopsy report released on Friday described Greene’s main cause of death as cocaine-induced agitated delirium aggravated by vehicular accident, physical struggle, self-inflicted head injury, and restraint. The report also mentioned that he had a fractured breastbone, a damaged aorta, and alcohol in his system—but it did not specify a cause of death, such as murder or accident.
- Lamar A. Davis, Police Superintendent, discussed the situation publicly for the first time late Friday afternoon at a hastily convened press conference, promising to share “any video” relating to the incident and asserting that if they do not get it right, they must make themselves accountable.
Ronald Greene was tased and pulled by his ankles once on the ground during a high-speed pursuit in north Louisiana, according to the AP video released earlier this week. Greene is repeatedly seen on camera pleading with cops, stating “I’m sorry,” and asking Louisiana State Police troopers to pardon him.
The ACLU condemned Greene’s treatment, stating Friday afternoon that the videos revealed Greene was tortured to death by police who refused to provide life-saving assistance. Donna Brazile, a resident of Louisiana and former Democratic National Committee chairwoman, tweeted Friday, “Louisiana, we need answers.”
It is now unknown what precipitated the fatal encounter. Police say they were involved in a high-speed chase along dim, rural roads in north Louisiana, but have not specified what Greene’s traffic infringement was.
At least two policemen have undergone disciplinary action in connection with Greene’s capture, but neither has been charged. Kory York was suspended without pay for 50 hours for pulling Ronald Greene and disabling his body camera, while Chris Hollingsworth was terminated. Hollingsworth was killed in a single-vehicle crash in September, mere hours after learning of his termination. The Associated Press also posted an audiotape of Hollingsworth explaining the detention of Greene, stating, “I beat the ever living f—- out of him.” Dakota DeMoss, another cop involved in the Greene attack, was indicted in February on suspicion of using unlawful force against another motorist during an arrest. DeMoss has been permitted to stay on the staff of the Louisiana State Police.