A new autopsy report for Ronald Greene, a Black motorist who died following his arrest for failing to stop for a traffic violation, contradicts the claim made by Louisiana State Police that Greene died from injuries he got in a car crash. Now, Greene’s cause of death may directly point at the officers seen on camera beating, tasing and dragging him on the side of a highway on May 10, 2019.
Greene’s death is the subject of a federal civil rights investigation after years of mystery surrounding what really happened that night.
Footage of his arrest was obtained and released by the Associated Press in May after state officials spent two years refusing to release it themselves. The violence caught on bodycam prompted the FBI to revisit the autopsy report done by the Union Parish coroner. That original report corroborated the state police’s story that Greene’s severe injuries were from when he “crashed into a tree.” It’s important to point out here that his car had very minimal damage, but Greene was bloodied, bruised and broken.
Here’s more about the reexamined autopsy report commissioned by the FBI, from AP:
The new review notably removes the crash and “agitated delirium” from the list of causes in Greene’s original autopsy, according to a person familiar with the findings who wasn’t authorized to discuss the federal inquiry and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
It also addresses a key unanswered question from the original autopsy, whether the crash that didn’t deploy the air bag in Greene’s car was severe enough to cause a fractured breastbone and ruptured aorta. The new review determined those injuries were most likely the result of CPR and other life-saving efforts by first responders, the person familiar with the findings said.
For the past two years, federal prosecutors have been investigating Greene’s arrest along with other cases of Louisiana State Police beating Black motorists during arrests. Insider reports that prosecutors are also trying to determine if there’s been obstruction of justice by top brass.
A spokesperson for the state police told Insider that the department will continue to participate in the federal investigation.
“As the department awaits the findings of the federal investigation, the men and women of the Department of Public Safety remain dedicated to professional public service across our state,” the spokesperson said, according to Insider.
Greene’s mother, Mona Hardin, is hoping that this new report will open the door to justice for her son.
“This thing has been so crazy. No one has properly grieved,” said Hardin to the Associated Press. She also said that Greene’s cremated remains have yet to be buried.