“I beat the ever-living f— out of him,” – Louisiana State Trooper is heard saying in a 27-second audio clip
“We finally got him in handcuffs when a third man got there, and the son of a b—– was still fighting him, was still wrestling with him trying to hold him down”.
“He was spitting blood everywhere and all of a sudden he just went limp”
The Louisiana trooper implicated in the death of Ronald Greene, who authorities initially said died in a car wreck last year, was caught on his bodycam mic talking about how he choked and hit the victim until he stopped moving
The Trooper’s mic was catching talk of ‘beating, choking a Black man’ authorities said died in car crash
Greene died in police custody following a high-speed chase in Louisiana in 2019 but his family question the authorities version of events
Police initially said 49-year-old Greene died after crashing his vehicle into a tree following a high-speed chase in rural northern Louisiana that began over an unspecified traffic violation
The single-page State Police crash report says that the chase ended when he crashed his vehicle
Report omits any reference to troopers either using force, or even arresting Greene, but notes that he was not wearing a seat belt in the crash
The current version says Greene died ‘after resisting arrest and a struggle with troopers’ who took him into custody
Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth died in a car crash on Sept 23, hours after learning he would be fired for his role last year in the in-custody death of Ronald Greene
Hollingsworth, who was white, was the only one of six troopers placed on leave in Sept following an administrative investigation that began in August
Greene’s family have called for the release of the tape of his arrest, alleging troopers used excessive force and ‘brutalized’ him while taking him into custody
Their skepticism is reinforced by the fact that State Police, despite growing pressure, have repeatedly declined to release body-camera footage and other records related to Greene’s arrest
A Louisiana trooper implicated in the death of Ronald Greene, who authorities initially said died in a car wreck last year, was caught on his bodycam mic talking about how he choked and hit the Black man until he stopped moving.
In graphic, matter-of-fact chatter picked up on his body-camera mic, Louisiana State trooper Chris Hollingsworth, who was implicated in the death of a Greene can be heard talking of beating and choking him before “all of a sudden he just went limp.”
“I beat the ever-living f— out of him,” the trooper said in a 27-second audio clip.
It is the most direct evidence to emerge yet in the death last year of Ronald Greene, which troopers initially blamed on injuries from a car crash at the end of a chase. The long-simmering case has now become the subject of a federal civil rights investigation and growing calls for authorities to release the full body-cam video.
Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth, who died last week in a single-car crash, is heard recounting the May 2019 arrest of Greene in rural north Louisiana on audio anonymously provided to the AP. Its veracity was confirmed by two law enforcement officials familiar with the case who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Louisiana State Police did not dispute the tape’s authenticity, according to the AP report.
“Choked him and everything else trying to get him under control,” Hollingsworth is heard saying, apparently in his part of a phone conversation with a colleague.
“We finally got him in handcuffs when a third man got there, and the son of a b—– was still fighting him, was still wrestling with him trying to hold him down,” he said. “He was spitting blood everywhere and all of a sudden he just went limp.
Hours before his fatal auto crash, Trooper Hollingsworth had received word that State Police intended to terminate him following an internal investigation into the May 2019 death of Ronald Greene, a case that has drawn mounting scrutiny and become the subject of a federal civil rights investigation.
Police initially said Greene died after crashing his vehicle into a tree following a high-speed chase in rural northern Louisiana that began over an unspecified traffic violation.
The deceased’s family alleges troopers used excessive force and ‘brutalized’ him while taking him into custody. Their skepticism is reinforced by the fact that State Police, despite growing pressure, have repeatedly declined to release body-camera footage and other records related to Greene’s arrest.
Presenting their doubts, Lee Merritt, an attorney for Greene’s family presented a gruesome post humus photograph of Greene, ”This undated photo provided by the family of Ronald Greene via the Baton Rouge chapter of the NAACP in September 2020 shows injuries on his body.
“It is shocking that this evidence has been withheld for over a year,” said Merritt, calling on state officials to immediately release the full footage of the arrest.
Eugene Collins, president of the Baton Rouge branch of the NAACP, called Hollingsworth’s remarks “disgusting and morally bankrupt” and said the recording raised new questions about the actions of other law enforcement officials familiar with Greene’s death.
“How far did this coverup go?” Collins asked in an interview.
“We are deeply saddened in the actions of State Police and call on the governor to take swift and aggressive action.”
Hollingsworth was the only one of six troopers placed on leave last month following an administrative investigation that State Police did not open until late August.
While the Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, told reporters last week that footage of Greene’s arrest would be made public at the conclusion of the state and federal investigations, even after the trooper’s death, the LSP have refused to comment on Hollingsworth’s use of force or say which policies he was accused of violating in Greene’s arrest.
Initially, Greene’s family was told that the 49-year-old died from injuries suffered in a crash into a “shrub/tree” at the end of a long car chase near Monroe that began over an unspecified traffic violation.
A State Police crash report omits any reference to troopers either using force, or even arresting Greene, but notes that he was not wearing a seat belt in the crash.
State Police later acknowledged there was a “struggle” with troopers who were trying to arrest him.
Greene’s family has a filed a federal wrongful-death suit alleging troopers “brutalized” him, shocked him three times with a stun gun and left him “beaten, bloodied and in cardiac arrest.”
Last month, they disputed the car crash narrative by releasing graphic photographs of Greene’s body that appeared to show deep bruises on his face and cuts on his scalp, as well as photos of the vehicle he was driving. The silver Toyota mini SUV shows only minor damage.
Greene, a barber who had lived for years in central Florida, was not known to be wanted on any charges at the time of the police chase. The State Police crash report does indicate whether alcohol or drug use was involved.
Greene’s mother Mona Hardin described her son as a well-liked barber who had a ‘giving spirit’. The family has been unable to properly grieve without knowing the full details around his death, she said.
‘This has gutted our family.
‘How do people live with themselves after doing something like this?’, Hardin said.
The American Civil Liberties Union last month expressed dissatisfaction the handling which they called an ‘apparent cover-up by the Louisiana State Police’.
‘We are deeply alarmed by what appears to be an 17-month-long cover-up by the Louisiana State Police and an intentional effort to deceive Ronald Greene’s family about the circumstances of his death,’ said Alanah Odoms Hebert, ACLU of Louisiana executive director.
‘Once again, a Black man’s family is grieving because of the actions of police officers who have never been held accountable. The fact that Ronald Greene’s family is still waiting for answers more than a year after his death is a tragic and unacceptable miscarriage of justice that needs to be addressed now.
‘This is especially concerning given that LSP is often charged with investigating allegations of excessive force and misconduct by local police departments. LSP must immediately release all body camera footage of the incident as well as the names of the officers involved,’ she added.