Back in 2019, the deadly arrest of Ronald Greene, a Black man, was initially blamed on a car crash, until body camera footage later showed white officers brutally beating him on the night of the incident. Yesterday (Dec. 16), the five law enforcement officers involved were indicted on state charges by a grand jury in Union Parish, Louisiana.
Greene’s mother, Mona Hardin, has consistently kept the pressure on state and federal investigators for the last three years and vowed to get justice. “We’re all excited for the indictments, but are they actually going to pay for it?” she said about the recent official charges. “As happy as we are, we want something to stick.”
According to court documents, troopers said that the 49-year-old man’s death was “caused by crash-related blunt force chest trauma that resulted in a fractured sternum and ruptured aorta” and said they used force “for their own personal safety and for the safety of the public.” The body camera footage video showed Greene was dragged by the officers that night while yelling, “I’m scared!”
Master Trooper Kory York faces the most serious charges, negligent homicide and 10 counts of malfeasance in office. York was seen on the body camera footage “dragging Greene by his ankle shackles, putting his foot on his back to force him down, and leaving the heavyset man face down in the dirt for more than nine minutes.”
“These actions are inexcusable and have no place in professional public safety services,” the head of the state police, Col. Lamar Davis, said after the indictments. He also added that improvements have been made in recent years by his agency to rebuild “trust within the communities we serve.”