State Watch

Autopsy report, full body camera footage released from Ronald Greene’s deadly arrest

Louisiana authorities on Friday released the full body camera footage and autopsy report from the 2019 arrest of Black motorist Ronald Greene, who died after he was restrained and beaten by law enforcement in Louisiana. 

The autopsy report, which had remained hidden from public view since it was conducted in May 2019, was obtained by The Associated Press on Friday. The autopsy cited head injuries and physical struggle, as well as cocaine in his system, as factors in his death. 

Body camera footage, portions of which were obtained by the AP earlier this week, was released in full by Louisiana State Police on Friday, showing Greene being dragged out of his car, stunned and punched by state troopers following a lengthy high-speed chase outside of Monroe, La.

Both the autopsy report and the footage provide additional details surrounding the 49-year-old’s death, which has prompted outrage from racial justice advocates and former law enforcement officials.

Both groups have slammed the 2019 incident as an excessive use of force. 

The autopsy report, conducted by Arkansas State Crime Lab pathologists Jennifer Forsyth and Frank J. Paretti for the Union Parish Coroner’s Office, showed that Greene had a “significant” level of cocaine in his system — about 1,700 nanograms per milliliter, according to the AP. 

Greene also had a blood-alcohol content of 0.106, above the 0.08 level that is considered drunk driving in Louisiana. 

The report was also obtained by CNN. The network listed Greene’s cause of death as “cocaine induced agitated delirium complicated by motor vehicle collision, physical struggle, inflicted head injury and restraint.” 

The AP noted, however, that the report did not specify a manner of death, such as homicide, natural causes or accidental. 

The report also noted that it “cannot be stated with certainty” whether Greene’s injuries were sustained in a car crash or in his subsequent struggle with officers. 

Louisiana State Police initially said a car crash caused Greene to die on impact. 

“There were lacerations of the head inconsistent with motor vehicle collision injury,” the report said, according to the AP. “These injuries are most consistent with multiple impact sites from a blunt object.”

The coroner’s office could not immediately be reached for comment by The Hill. 

The body camera footage released by police Friday revealed that during the 2019 encounter, Greene attempted to roll over in an apparent struggle to breathe, but was ordered by officers to stay on his front. 

The video revealed Trooper Chris Hollingsworth telling a fellow officer, “I beat the ever-living f— out of him, choked him and everything else trying to get him under control.” 

“All of a sudden he just went limp… I thought he was dead,” he added. 

An officer can then be heard asking over the phone whether the incident was caught on body camera footage, after which Hollingsworth shut off his camera. 

Greene in the footage can be heard shouting, “I’m scared!” and “I’m your brother,” which officers responded to with profanities, such as “stupid motherf——.” The motorist later became unresponsive. 

Greene’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the troopers, arguing they “brutalized” Greene and “left him beaten, bloodied and in cardiac arrest.”

Greene’s mother, Mona Hardin, told the AP this week that troopers “murdered” her son. 

“He didn’t have a chance. Ronnie didn’t have a chance. He wasn’t going to live to tell about it,” she said.

Tags body camera footage CNN deaths in police custody Law enforcement Louisiana police use of force Ronald Greene The Associated Press wrongful death lawsuit

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