Ronald Greene Video Shows Black Man Saying He's Scared Before Being Beaten by Cops

Police bodycam footage documenting the final moments of Ronald Greene, a Black man who died in custody two years ago, has just been published by the Associated Press.

Louisiana state troopers arrested the 49-year-old on May 10, 2019, following a high-speed chase after he failed to pull over for an unspecified traffic violation, according to a federal wrongful death lawsuit filed by Greene's daughter, Tayla Greene.

The chase ended when Greene crashed into a wooded area in Union Parish.

Greene was not injured and could "walk, speak and otherwise function in a healthy manner" following the crash, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states that Greene had become unresponsive by the time emergency medical technicians arrived. An initial report from Glenwood Medical Center, where he was transported, listed his principal cause of death as "cardiac arrest," but also mentioned an "unspecified injury of head."

Authorities initially told Greene's family that he had been killed in an automobile accident. The lawsuit alleges that one officer told Greene's mother he had died on impact after hitting a tree.

The bodycam footage obtained by the AP and released on Wednesday offers the first video evidence of the circumstances surrounding Greene's arrest.

Shortly before the pursuit ended, the AP reported, Trooper Dakota DeMoss said on his radio: "We got to do something. He's going to kill somebody."

In one clip from the bodycam footage, an officer can be seen approaching Greene's vehicle and pointing a weapon, yelling: "Let me see your hands." The officer also shouts expletives, referring to Greene as a "motherf*****."

At that point, Greene can be seen raising his hands through the driver's seat window.

The footage then shows an officer—identified by the AP as Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth—shocking Greene with a stun gun, as Greene repeats, "OK, OK," "I'm sorry," "I'm scared" and "Oh, Lord Jesus."

At one point, a visibly distressed Greene can be heard saying, "I'm your brother, I'm scared."

Throughout the scene, the troopers identified by the AP as Hollingsworth and DeMoss are shouting at Greene to get out of the car.

A second video shows troopers violently wrestling Greene to the ground, as the Black man can be heard exclaiming: "Officer, officer!" In the next shot, a trooper subdues Greene and says: "Taser, Taser, Taser." A colleague fires the stun gun as Greene cries out.

The next shot shows the trooper wearing the bodycam on top of Greene, punching him in the back three times while holding handcuffs. Another trooper is subduing Greene, who is lying face down on the ground.

The 49-year-old can be heard gargling and groaning as the officers attempt to handcuff him. A third trooper shows up and moves Greene's visibly bloodied arm on his back as the officer subduing him pushes his face to the ground. One officer can be heard saying: "Motherf*****, you better not move."

The video's final shot shows Greene handcuffed and face down on the ground, with the bodycam briefly revealing his bloodied face. As Greene is heard moaning and crying out, one trooper complains of having "blood all over me." Another answers: "I hope this guy ain't got f******* AIDS."

The AP reported that the troopers cleaned blood off their hands and faces instead of immediately tending to Greene's injuries, leaving him on the floor for more than nine minutes. Greene later appeared limp and unresponsive, and was loaded onto an ambulance gurney with his arm cuffed to the bedrail, according to the AP.

A third video with no audio showed another trooper, identified by the AP as Kory York, shining a flashlight on Greene—handcuffed on the floor—with his foot on the Black man's shoulder. After delivering a small kick to Greene's leg, York can be seen hitting Greene's buttock with his foot twice before resting it there.

In the next shot, York pulls Greene up by the back of his pants as another trooper shackles his feet. At the end of the video, York can be seen yanking and briefly dragging Greene—still face down on the floor—by the shackles on his feet, before kneeling on Greene's back.

York was suspended without pay for 50 hours for dragging Greene and for improperly deactivating his bodycam, according to the AP.

In a statement emailed to Newsweek, the Louisiana State Police said it "remains under direction by investigating agencies not to release any evidence or further information related to this case."

It continued: "The investigation into the death of Ronald Greene remains under review by federal and state authorities.

"LSP is confident in the judicial system and fair review of this incident and continues to offer our full cooperation."

According to the AP, the Louisiana police had previously said "premature public release of investigative files and video evidence in this case is not authorized and ... undermines the investigative process and compromises the fair and impartial outcome."

Greene's mother Mona Hardin told the AP on Wednesday: "He didn't have a chance. Ronnie didn't have a chance. He wasn't going to live to tell about it."

The lawsuit filed in May 2020 by Tayla Greene named eight defendants, including Hollingsworth, DeMoss and York. It alleges that Greene was "brutalized" by authorities and the "lethal force" used against him was "unprovoked, unjustified, unreasonable" and "excessive."

The AP reported that Lee Merritt, an attorney for the family, said the bodycam footage "has some of the same hallmarks of the George Floyd video, the length of it, the sheer brutality of it."

"He apologized in an attempt to surrender," Merritt added.

An attorney for York declined to comment when contacted by Newsweek. DeMoss is represented by an attorney in the litigation division of the Louisiana Justice Department, which has also been contacted for comment. Hollingsworth died in September 2020.

The AP had previously obtained a 27-second audio recording during which Hollingsworth—who was white—could allegedly be heard speaking to a colleague about beating Greene. Hollingsworth died in a single-car highway crash in Monroe, just hours after he was told he was going to be fired over his role in Greene's death.

"I beat the ever-living f*** out of him," Hollingsworth reportedly said in the recording. "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 b**** was still fighting him, was still wrestling with him trying to hold him down," he allegedly said. "He was spitting blood everywhere and all of a sudden he just went limp."

Newsweek has also contacted the Greene family's attorneys for comment.

Ronald Greene's brother attends March on Washington
Sean Greene at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington on August 28, 2020. His brother Ronald Greene died in police custody in Louisiana in May 2019. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images