The family of Ronald Greene, a Black man who died last year after a car chase with Louisiana State Police, has finally seen the bodycam footage from the fatal arrest.
Mona Hardin, Greene’s mother, described the footage — which police refuse to release to the public — as “horrific” and said, “It’s like I haven’t awakened from this bad dream,” reports ABC News. “His death certificate and this video are two different stories. It’s horrific. I can’t close my eyes and not see my son and what they did to him,” she said. “I find it hard to sleep. … It was hard before; it’s even harder now. It’s unbelievable that this has gone this long.”
Greene died back in May 2019 after he failed to pull over for a traffic violation. He led the police on a car chase through Northern Louisiana. Authorities told Greene’s family that he died when the car “struck a shrub/tree next to a private drive.”
When the EMS arrived to the scene, Greene was unresponsive and reportedly died on the way to the hospital. However, Hardin disputed the report and said that her son was a victim of excessive force at the hands of the police. She also said that the car had no significant damage.
After examining Greene’s body and the damage to the vehicle, his family filed a wrongful death lawsuit that states that he was “brutalized,” shocked three times with a stun gun and left “beaten, bloodied and in cardiac arrest.”
AP recently obtained bodycam audio from the day Greene died. In the almost 30-second clip, Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth admitted to “beating the ever living fuck” out of Greene. “Choked him and everything else trying to get him under control. We finally got him in handcuffs when a third man got there, and the son of a bitch was still fighting him, was still wrestling with him trying to hold him down,” he recalled. “He was spitting blood everywhere, and all of a sudden, he just went limp.”
Attorney Lee Merritt is representing the family and has viewed the bodycam footage. “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,” he said.
The lawyer also said that as Hollingsworth choked Greene, he ordered him to place his arms behind his back. The victim continued to be choked and shocked by the stun gun as the other troopers yelled insults at him. Once Greene was finally in handcuffs, Merritt said the troopers continued to choke, mock and beat him.
Last month, the FBI announced that they were investigating the case for civil rights violations.