Civil Rights Groups Call for Independent Oversight of LSP Following Ronald Greene Footage Release

Black Lives Matter in Austria, black female protestor holding End Police Brutality sign with the raised fist resistance logo” by Ivan Radic is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In a scathing joint statement released Thursday the NAACP, ACLU of Louisiana, VOTE, ADL South Central Region, Urban League of Louisiana, and the VERA Institute for Justice issued a statement calling on Gov. John Bel Edwards to implement independent, third-party oversight of the Louisiana State Police (LSP) following the release of horrific footage of the murder of Ronald Greene at the hands of LSP officers.

“Today, we saw limited video footage of Louisiana State Police officers brutally assaulting Ronald Greene and failing to render aid once he was under their control,” the statement says. “It’s apparent Mr. Greene died from his wounds and not the fictitious car accident reported by the officers to cover up his death in 2019.”

Greene was killed following a short police chase ending in a crash outside Monroe, LA on May 10, 2019. While the initial police reports made no mention of any use of force, body camera video obtained and published by the Associated Press shows police tasing Greene before forcibly removing him from the vehicle. “OK, OK,” Greene can be heard saying. “I’m sorry. I’m scared. Officer, I’m scared. I’m your brother. I’m scared.”

After being removed from the vehicle Greene is heard moaning while on the ground. One officer kicks him several times as he’s being put into handcuffs. Another can be heard complaining of having Greene’s blood on him. According to the Associated Press, Greene was left lying face down for more than nine minutes while officers washed his blood off their faces and hands.

Following the video release, the LSP released a statement saying that the release of the footage was not authorized and that the video had not been obtained through official sources.

“The statement issued by the LSP exacerbates the distrust that this gruesome incident has engendered within the community,” the ADL joint statement says. “Mr. Greene’s death did not happen in a vacuum. There have been recent, deeply troubling incidents involving excessive force and racism by the State Police directed at people of color.

There has been no public transparency since Mr. Greene’s death 474 days ago and no relief to the heartbreak experienced by his family. Yet the State Police’s statement is only concerned about the unauthorized release of the appalling video, and not its disturbing content. This apathetic response, and the apparent continuing cover-up of this incident demonstrates why the State Police should not be responsible for investigating how Mr. Greene died, and calls into question whether systemic racism has inappropriately influenced the agency’s assessment and reporting on similar incidents across the state over many years.”

An FBI civil rights investigation into Greene’s death is currently underway.

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