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After initially saying he died in a crash, video shows cops hit, dragged man during deadly arrest

Ronald Greene arrest video
Posted at 10:49 AM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 10:49:41-04

Shortly after Ronald Greene died following a high-speed chase with police in Louisiana in 2019, State Troopers initially told Greene's family that he died in a car crash.

However, leaked body camera footage released this week shows that troopers punched, dragged and used their stun guns on Greene before he died in police custody.

The footage, obtained and released on Wednesday by the Associated Press, comes after federal investigators opened a civil rights investigation into Greene's death. Greene's family has also filed a $5 million federal wrongful death lawsuit.

Greene died on May 10, 2019, according to the Associated Press. KNOE-TV in Monroe, Louisiana, reports that Greene led police on a chase that began in Ouachita Parish.

The AP reports that the car chase that proceeded Greene's death began over an "unspecified traffic violation" and that Greene's SUV reached speeds of 115 mph during the pursuit.

The chase ended when Greene crashed his car. According to the video released by the Associated Press, Greene apologized to officers as they approach his vehicle.

Click here to view the footage of the arrest. Warning, it contains graphic images that may be difficult to watch.

"OK, OK, I'm sorry. I'm scared, officer," Greene said. "I'm your brother! I'm scared! I'm scared!"

Officers quickly deployed a stun gun, the first of multiple times a Taser would be used during the incident.

The Associated Press says the full clip they obtained is 46 minutes long. In the video, they say troopers wrestled Greene to the ground, put him in a chokehold and punched him in the face. Later, an officer grabbed Greene by his shackled ankles and dragged him across the ground, face down.

During the altercation, troopers called Greene a "stupid motherf*****" and threatened to beat him further if he didn't comply with orders.

After Greene was subdued, troopers left him unattended for more than nine minutes as he moaned and sobbed. At one point, troopers wiped Greene's blood off their hands and faces.

"I hope this guy ain't got f****** AIDS," one trooper said.

Later, Greene was shown on camera again, bleeding and unresponsive. An ambulance later arrived, and Greene was taken away, handcuffed to the gurney.

Greene was later pronounced dead. Shortly after his death, Louisiana State Police told Greene's family that he had died on impact in a high-speed crash during the car chase. Later, CNN says a preliminary investigative report indicated that Greene died during a struggle while resisting an officer's orders.

In a statement to the Associated Press, the Louisiana State Police declined to comment on the video, adding that the release of the video was "not authorized" and "undermines the investigative process and compromises the fair and impartial outcome."

Upon release of the footage, the ACLU of Louisiana said in a statement that Greene had been "tortured to death by officers who denied him, life-saving aide, for more than nine minutes."

"What we are witnessing on this video is a brutal killing – a killing that was committed by cops but also condoned by our laws, perpetuated by white supremacy, and encouraged by a culture of impunity and violence," the statement read.