Trooper Who Bragged About Beating Ronald Greene Played Victim to Investigators

Chris Hollingsworth – Public use photo via Facebook

Audio released by the Associated Press (AP) shows the Louisiana State Trooper who beat Ronald Greene with a flashlight, tased him, and punched him during his fatal arrest tried to portray himself as a frightened victim to investigators.

“I was scared,” Hollingsworth said. “He could have done anything once my hold was broke off him – and that’s why I struck him.”

In separate audio also released by the AP, Louisiana Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth originally told a colleague that he “beat the ever-living f– out of” Greene. However, during the internal affairs investigation of the incident, Hollingsworth played the victim, telling detectives that he feared for his life.

Investigators continued to grill him, however, describing Hollingsworth’s repeated striking of Greene with his flashlight as unjustified. They continued to question him for two hours on why he tased Greene before giving the man a chance to exit his vehicle, why he resorted to disproportionate force with a man barely resisting, and why he turned off his body camera’s video recorder.

Hollingsworth died in a high-speed, single-vehicle crash that occurred just hours after he was told he would be fired for his role in Greene’s arrest. His death was officially ruled accidental, however, there has been widespread speculation that the trooper committed suicide. Reports showed that he was sober, not wearing a seatbelt, and doing around 100 mph on an interstate he had regularly patrolled for decades.

Since the death of Ronald Greene in 2019, his family and many others have speculated that the Louisiana State Police (LSP) and even Governor John Bel Edwards have been attempting to cover up the violent circumstances of Greene’s death. In February, Gov. Edwards vehemently denied an AP report showing that he was notified of the violent circumstanced of Greene’s death within hours of it happening. In spite of text messages notifying Edwards that Greene died in custody after a “violent, lengthy struggle,” Edwards stayed quiet while Louisiana State Police issued public statements that Greene died as the result of a car accident when Greene’s car hit a tree.

In 2021, then-trooper Carl Cavalier was fired after he told WBRZ-TV in Baton Rouge that other officers covered up the circumstances of Greene’s death in order to protect the arresting officers. In September 2021, Cavalier filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against LSP.

Department of Public Safety Attorney Jennifer Murray was also suspended for three weeks without pay last year after being accused of sharing details related to a DPS audit of LSP Troop F for a series of beatings involving Black motorists, including Greene. By sharing information, Murray violated a nondisclosure agreement she signed when being assigned to the audit committee.

Union Parish District Attorney John Belton announced last week that he is requesting a special grand jury be impaneled and that he plans to move forward with prosecuting the remaining LSP troopers involved with Greene’s arrest. On Thursday, Belton affirmed that he believes a “criminal act” occurred and said he received a call from US attorney Brandon Brown – who is handling the federal investigation of the case – saying he could move forward with the local investigation and prosecution.

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