'I’m Your Brother! I’m Scared!': Ronald Greene, Black Man Killed By Cops In 2019, Heard Pleading With Them Before Death
“They murdered him. It was set out, it was planned,” Greene’s mother, Mona Hardin, said on Wednesday.
May 20, 2021 at 4:53 pm
Newly released body camera footage reveals what really happened during the fatal arrest of a Black Louisiana man in 2019 following a high-speed police chase.
For over two years, authorities refused to release the footage, leaving family members in the dark about what happened to Ronald Greene.
“I’m your brother! I’m scared! I’m scared!” Greene can be heard saying in the 46-minute video obtained and released by the Associated Press (AP).
Despite being unarmed and initially remaining in his car, white officer Chris Hollingsworth repeatedly shocked the 49-year-old with a stun gun while they were pulled over along a dark, rural road outside of Monroe, Louisiana.
Greene pleads with the officers, yelling “I’m sorry!” as another trooper delivers another stun gun shock in his back.
“Look, you’re going to get it again if you don’t put your f**king hands behind your back!” an officer can be heard saying, threatening Greene.
The clip also shows one of the six state troopers present wrestling Greene to the ground, putting him in a chokehold and punching him in the face while another can be heard calling him a “stupid motherf**ker.”
There’s a brief stretch where Greene does not appear on camera, but when he resurfaces, he is limp and unresponsive with blood pouring down his head and face.
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“Put your hands behind your back, b***h,” one trooper says.
During the struggle, the troopers failed to render aid and left Greene unattended, facedown and moaning for more than nine minutes. One officer, Kory York, was seen dragging an unresistant Green by his legs, face down and handcuffed.
After using sanitizer wipes to wash the blood off their hands and faces, one trooper exclaims, “I hope this guy ain’t got f**king AIDS.”
Greene’s family contends that police deliberately killed him and that he didn’t stand a chance at surviving the arrest.
“They murdered him. It was set out, it was planned,” Greene’s mother, Mona Hardin, said on Wednesday. “He didn’t have a chance. Ronnie didn’t have a chance. He wasn’t going to live to tell about it.”
At first, police told Greene’s family that he died on impact after crashing into a tree during the chase, which exceeded 115 mph. Shortly after his death, they later released a short statement saying Greene struggled with troopers and died on the way to the hospital.
The family has since filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit, alleging that the arresting officers “brutalized” the former barber and “left him beaten, bloodied and in cardiac arrest," evading the true circumstances of his death.
“Police departments have got to stop putting roadblocks up to information that is, in the public’s eye, questionable. They have to reveal all that they know, when they know it,” Andrew Scott, a former Boca Raton, Florida police chief who testifies as an expert witness in use-of-force cases, said. “It suggests that you’re hiding something.”
Scott also said dragging the handcuffed man facedown by his ankle shackles was “malicious, sadistic, completely unnecessary.”
Charles Key, another use-of-force expert and former Baltimore police lieutenant, questioned how the troopers handled Greene, which he said was “just dead wrong.”
“You don’t leave somebody lying on the ground, particularly after you’ve had this fight,” Key said. “The training has been for a number of years that, as soon as you get someone under control, you put them on their side to facilitate their breathing…and particularly this guy, because he was very heavy.”
While the exact cause of Greene’s death has not yet been determined, Union Parish Coroner Renee Smith told the AP last year that his death was ruled accidental and attributed to cardiac arrest. Smith, who was not present when that ruling was made, said her office’s file on Greene failed to mention a struggle with state troopers and attributed his death to a car crash.
“Does not add up,” an emergency doctor wrote in a medical report after Greene arrived dead at the hospital with deep bruising on his face and head and with two stun-gun prongs in his back.
Ultimately, the doctor questioned the troopers’ initial claim that Greene had “died on impact” after crashing into a tree.
An attorney for Greene’s family, Lee Merritt, said the footage “has some of the same hallmarks of the George Floyd video, the length of it, the sheer brutality of it.”
“He apologized in an attempt to surrender,” Merritt said.
The 2019 arrest is now the subject of a federal civil rights investigation.