5 Louisiana Officers Charged in Bloody Arrest That Led to Death of Unarmed Black Driver
The officers involved in the death of Ronald Green have all been indicted on 10 counts in total having to do with the 2019 incident. His family is suing.
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Ronald Green didn’t make it home on May 10, 2019 when he was pulled over by state troopers in Louisiana after failing to stop for a traffic violation. He was a 49-year-old Black man. When footage of the incident was released to the public, the police said that it was ‘unauthorized’ due to a pending investigation. Green can be heard in the footage screaming, “I’m scared,” as he’s being dragged across the ground while in handcuffs.
On Friday, three years later, the officers responsible—which include, Troopers John Clary, Dakota Demoss and Kory York; Union Parish Deputy Chris Harpin; and former Troop F Commander John Peters have all been indicted.
Meanwhile, Mona Hardin still struggles with speaking about her son, Ronald, as if he’s not still here.
“They murdered him. It was set out, it was planned,” Hardin told the Associated Press. “He didn’t have a chance. Ronnie didn’t have a chance. He wasn’t going to live to tell about it.”
Troopers first told Green’s family that he died on impact after crashing into a tree. The incident in question is being referred to as a high-speed chase. After footage was released, State police sent a one-page statement saying instead that Green died on his way to the hospital.
An autopsy report from the Union Parish Coroner’s Office says that Green died from blunt force injury to the head, neck, and torso.
York faces one charge of negligent homicide and 10 counts of malfeasance and was originally suspended for 50 hours without pay in 2019 when the incident took place. Harpin faces three counts of malfeasance, with Clary facing one count of malfeasance and one count of obstruction of justice. Demoss and Peters are each facing one count of obstruction of justice.
Green’s family obtained counsel shortly after disputing the police’s initial claims of the collision. Photos showed lacerations and several bruises to the face. Civil Rights attorney Lee Merritt is representing the family in a wrongful death suit against the Louisiana State Police.
“The law enforcement officers approached the vehicle shouting obscenities. They immediately tased Ronald and [dragged] him from the car. … Once they had him on the ground, Officer Chris Hollingsworth put him in a chokehold while the other officers tased him a second time and a third time,” Merritt said in a statement to ABC News.
In total, the bodycam footage is 46 minutes and shows Green being tased and beaten while being cuffed at the hands and legs. Green can be heard screaming, “I’m sorry!” as he’s dragged.
“I hope this guy ain’t got fucking AIDS,” one of the troopers can be heard saying.
A formal investigation was launched in 2020 with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division following with a separate investigation shortly after.
A similar case in Dayton, Ohio with Clifford Owensby, a paraplegic unarmed Black man, who was dragged from his car by the police is still pending, but Riley Christian, one of the attorneys representing Mr. Owensby said, “It is a tragedy that people of color continuously suffer at the hands of rogue officers assigned to protect them. My prayers are with his loved ones and we expect justice on behalf of Mr. Greene.”