On Thursday, the five police officers who were involved in the May 2019 death Ronald Greene—a Black motorist— during a violent arrest were indicted on state charges by a grand jury in Union Parish, Louisiana. Greene, 49, died after officers claimed he resisted arrest.
However, Greene’s family said that they were initially told by law enforcement officials that he died in a car crash after a police chase. Court documents state that the officers involved say Greene’s death was “caused by crash-related blunt force chest trauma that resulted in a fractured sternum and ruptured aorta.”
They also stated that they used force “for their own personal safety and for the safety of the public.” However, graphic video that was released two years after the incident shows the cops connected to the arrest punching, kicking and using a Taser on Greene before he died in their custody.
Several body- and dash-camera videos from four officers on the scene reveal the car chase that led up to the violent altercation. Two officers tried to drag Greene out of the car while he told them how scared he was. It appears that a trooper puts Greene in a choke hold as police wrestle on the ground.
Greene is then tased by one trooper as another restrains him. Greene, who is then on the ground face down, cries out as an officer sits on him, putting his hand onto the back of Greene’s neck and punching him in the face, the video shows. Then, a different officer tries to handcuff him and punches Greene’s lower back, the footage shows.
Audio from the video discloses an officer saying: “And I beat the ever-living f*** out of him, choked him and everything else trying to get him under control and we finally got him in handcuffs when a third man got there and the son of a bitch was still fighting and we was still wrestling with him trying to hold him down because he was spitting blood everywhere.”
Greene’s family has filed a wrongful-death civil lawsuit against the all officers involved in the incident. They are suing the officers’ superiors as well. In addition, the family wants damages for all medical and funeral expenses.