Cop Losing Job in Ronald Greene's Death Killed in Wreck

Chris Hollingsworth dies after Monday car crash
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 23, 2020 2:00 AM CDT
Trooper Who Was to Be Fired Over Black Man's Death Dies
In this Aug. 28, 2020 file photo, family members of Ronald Greene listen to speakers as demonstrators gather for the March on Washington, in Washington, on the 57th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech.   (Michael M. Santiago/Pool via AP)

(Newser) – A Louisiana state trooper has died following a single-vehicle highway crash that happened just hours after he learned he would be fired for his role last year in the in-custody death of a Black man. Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth was pronounced dead Tuesday following a brief hospitalization, Warren Lee, chief investigator for the Ouachita Parish Coroner's Office, told the AP. Hollingsworth had been airlifted to Shreveport early Monday after crashing his personal vehicle on Interstate 20 near Monroe. Police have not released any details about how the crash occurred. Hours before, 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.

Authorities 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. But Greene’s family, which has filed a federal wrongful-death lawsuit, alleges troopers “brutalized” Greene, used a stun gun on him three times, and “left him beaten, bloodied and in cardiac arrest” before covering up his actual cause of death. State Police, despite growing pressure, have repeatedly declined to release body-camera footage and other records related to Greene’s arrest. “Trooper Hollingsworth’s family has the finality of knowing exactly how he died as their community mourns his loss,” said Lee Merritt, a prominent civil rights attorney representing the family. “The family of Ronald Greene, however, is still being denied the same finality by the State of Louisiana.”

(Read more Louisiana stories.)

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