A senior officer who came to the scene where Louisiana State troopers were arresting Ronald Greene after a car chase did not initially report his camera footage in the evidence submitted to District Attorney John Belton, according to a spokesperson for the Louisiana State Police.
Lt. John Clary’s body camera and dash camera of the May 10, 2019, incident were among nine videos released by Louisiana State Police during a Friday news conference by Louisiana State Police Superintendent Col. Lamar Davis.
The circumstances of Greene’s death have drawn fresh attention after the release of videos – initially by the Associated Press and then by the Louisiana State Police – showing the encounter with police.
Greene, a 49-year-old Black man, died after what the police described as resisting arrest and a struggle with officers. However, his family said that they were told that Greene died in a car crash after a police chase.
Greene’s family filed a federal wrongful death suit on May 6, 2020, alleging he was “brutalized by Louisiana State Police and Union Parish Deputy Officers which caused his death.”
Ron Haley, an attorney for the family, said the troopers should be arrested. “Everyone that put their hands on Ronald Greene should be arrested and two minutes after they are arrested, anyone that participated in the cover-up should follow them right into the jail cell,” Haley told CNN on Friday.
A spokeswoman for Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said he was aware of the reporting on Lt. Clary but had no comment.
“We are constantly looking at conduct within the LSP. That’s one of things the new superintendent of state police is doing,” deputy press secretary Christina Stephens told CNN.
She said Edwards met with Greene’s mother in October and emphasized that the incident is being investigated by the District Attorney in northern Louisiana as well as federal investigators.
Videos made public after 2 years
Videos from body cameras worn by Clary, Trooper Chris Hollingsworth, Trooper Kory York, and Trooper Dakota DeMoss were made public Friday.
And on Monday, Louisiana State Police Capt. Nick Manale said that after further review, “personnel discovered three videos utilized in the internal affairs investigation were not part of the evidence submitted to District Attorney Belton with the original case report.
“This evidence was used in the disciplinary procedures for Trooper York and previously had been submitted to federal investigators. It was again provided to federal investigators and to the District Attorney’s Office as a supplemental report.
“Internal reviews are currently ongoing to determine why those videos were not identified during the original criminal investigation.”
The three videos in question were Clary’s cameras, Manale said.
Clary was not part of the initial chase and arrived after troopers used physical force to detain Greene.
“He didn’t initially report as being part of the use-of-force incident. He arrived afterward. Videos were used as part of the disciplinary process,” Manale said.
Videos from Clary’s body camera show troopers still holding Greene to the ground, Greene moaning, and troopers explaining their decision not to set Greene upright for fear he would spit blood on them.
CNN’s attempts to reach Clary on Monday were not successful and an attorney listed for him in a lawsuit didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
What the videos show
The nine body camera and dash camera videos released Friday offer a graphic account of the encounter two years ago. The release came after portions of at least two videos were reported on by the Associated Press earlier in the week.
Greene’s family has said they were told by police Greene died in a car accident. But the graphic videos tell a different story.
The videos depict parts of the chase as troopers pursued Greene’s car and tense radio transmissions can be heard describing what was happening, but at no point in any of the videos released are images of Greene’s car visible.
Attempts to pull Greene from his vehicle are seen and heard.
“OK, OK, OK officer – Lord Jesus,” can be heard and a Taser can be seen going off while Greene is still in the car.
Almost four minutes pass from the moment troopers open Greene’s car door until he’s fully handcuffed. Taser prongs still embedded in Greene’s skin are visible as his shirt lifts up while troopers curse and wrestle to pull his arms behind his back.
One video depicting the scene was more than 46 minutes long. A little after 22 minutes into the video, the audio goes silent. Later, from another camera, the EMS arrival can be seen, and Greene appears limp.
Audio from Hollingsworth’s body camera has a telephone exchange inside his patrol vehicle as he’s leaving the scene. He says Greene was drunk.
“And I beat the ever-living f*** out of him, choked him and everything else trying to get him under control and we finally got him in handcuffs,” Hollingsworth says in the video.
He adds Greene “was still fighting and we was still wrestling with him trying to hold him down because he was spitting blood everywhere.”
“And then all of a sudden he just went limp,” Hollingsworth says.
According to the state police’s initial report of Greene’s death, he was taken into custody after “resisting arrest and a struggle with Troopers.” The report said Greene died while on route to hospital.
An autopsy report from the night Greene died did not list a manner of death, noted that “no written incident report was provided despite requests” and that no detailed information regarding a car accident had been provided either. The report said that lacerations on Greene’s head were “inconsistent with motor vehicle collision injury. These injuries are most consistent with multiple impact sites from a blunt object.”
The troopers involved
Two troopers involved in the incident were reprimanded for their actions that night, including for not following procedures for body-worn cameras.
Hollingsworth was to be terminated for violations regarding body-worn camera and car camera systems, use of force, performance, lawful orders and for conduct unbecoming an officer. But he died in a car crash before he could be fired, Superintendent Col. Lamar Davis said during a news conference on Friday.
DeMoss has been notified of the department’s intent to fire him and remains on leave “pending the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings, related to a separate excessive use of force investigation.”
York completed a 50-hour suspension and returned to duty pending the outcome of the review by federal and state authorities.
CNN has reached out to an attorney for DeMoss but has not heard back. York’s attorney, Jay Adams, told CNN on Wednesday, “We have no comment on this pending litigation at this time.”
CNN’s Dave Alsup, Aya Elamroussi, Madeline Holcombe, Jamiel Lynch, Peter Nickeas and Ryan Young contributed to this report.