Newly released footage of a Black man dying in police custody shows state troopers choking and beating him as he said ‘I’m sorry,’ lawyer says
- Ronald Greene died in custody of Louisiana State Troopers in May 2019 in Monroe, Louisiana.
- His family watched body camera footage of Greene's arrest earlier this week, saying it contradicts initial police statements, which said Greene died in a car crash following a chase.
- A lawyer for the family told the Associated Press that Greene was beaten and tased by police officers before he died of cardiac arrest.
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The family of Ronald Greene, a Black man who died in Louisiana State Police custody last year, watched newly released body camera footage of the incident, and say it shows officers choking and beating Greene after he said "I'm sorry" during the arrest.
The footage was only released to the family and their lawyer, and has not been made publicly available in the nearly year and a half since Greene's May 2019 death.
Louisiana State Troopers initially blamed the injuries that led to Greene's death on a car crash at the end of a police chase in Monroe, but the body camera footage, and an audio clip of the altercation previously released to The Associated Press, have raised questions among Greene's family, who have filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit.
"This family has been lied to the entire time about what happened," the family's attorney Lee Merritt told the Associated Press. "The video was very difficult to watch. It's one of those videos like George Floyd and even Ahmaud Arbery where it's just so graphic."
Merritt told troopers used "abusive language" during the arrest, calling Greene a "stupid son of a b—-." At one part of the video, one officer put a foot on Greene while "another hogties him," Merritt said.
"Ronald immediately surrendered at his first contact with law enforcement. When the vehicle stopped, he put his hands up and said, 'I'm sorry,'" Merritt said. "His dying words were, 'I'm sorry.'"
Greene's death was ruled accidental and the result of cardiac arrest, AP reported. Troopers had said Greene led officers on a police after they tried to pull him over for a traffic violation, then crashed into a tree.
A medical report seen by AP showed Greene had been bloodied and bruised when he arrived at the hospital, and an emergency room doctor found stun gun prongs in his back.
The doctor, Omokhuale Omokhodion, wrote in the report that police initially told him Greene "died on impact" during a car crash, then said he had "been involved in a fight and struggle with them where he was tased three times."
Louisiana State Police did not announce any discipline against responding officers until this year, and Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth died in a single-car crash after learning he was going to be fired.
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