Louisiana trooper who was to be fired in death of Black man dies in car crash

A Louisiana state trooper died Tuesday after his vehicle crashed hours after he learned that state police planned to fire him for his involvement in the death of a Black man, The Associated Press reported

The Ouachita Parish Coroner’s Office announced that Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth had died Tuesday after being airlifted from the single-vehicle crash site on the highway near Monroe early Monday. 

The AP reported that police have not yet released information on the cause of the crash. 

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Authorities told the AP that Hollingsworth was notified hours before the crash that he would soon be fired following an internal investigation into the May 2019 death of Ronald Greene.

The AP reported last week that federal authorities had launched an investigation into Greene’s death. 

Greene’s family filed a wrongful death suit last year, in which they claimed state troopers “brutalized” the 49-year-old and “left him beaten, bloodied and in cardiac arrest” and subsequently covered up his cause of death. Louisiana State Police officials initially said that Greene died after crashing his vehicle following a high-speed pursuit by police. 

Louisiana police have continued to resist calls for the release of body-camera footage from the incident, citing the ongoing investigations, according to the AP. 

Following the announcement of Hollingsworth’s death on Tuesday, Greene’s family called for “the immediate arrest of the remaining men responsible for this tragic and unnecessary death.”

“Trooper Hollingsworth’s family has the finality of knowing exactly how he died as their community mourns his loss,” Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney representing the family, told the AP. “The family of Ronald Greene, however, is still being denied the same finality by the State of Louisiana.”

The AP reported that Hollingsworth was the only officer out of the six involved in Greene’s death who Louisiana State Police placed on leave on Sept. 9.