Autopsy Review Finds Car Crash Didn't Kill Ronald Greene

Black man was beaten, restrained by officers in Louisiana after minor crash
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2021 7:07 PM CDT
Updated Nov 2, 2021 3:14 PM CDT
State Capital March Demands Charges in Greene's Death
This image from Louisiana State Police Trooper Dakota DeMoss' body-worn camera video shows other troopers holding up Ronald Greene before paramedics arrived on May 10, 2019, outside of Monroe, La.   (Louisiana State Police via AP, File)

(Newser) Update: Body camera video released earlier this year shows Louisiana State Police troopers beating, stunning, and dragging Ronald Greene before his death—and an autopsy review ordered by the FBI could make homicide charges more likely. Sources tell the AP that the forensic review has removed the relatively minor car crash the 49-year-old Black man was involved in after a high-speed chase as a cause of death, along with "agitated delirium." The sources say the review—which attributed the death to factors including the beating and being restrained at length by officers—found that Greene's fractured breastbone and ruptured aorta were probably the result of CPR and other life-saving efforts, not the crash. Our original story from May 19 follows:

Ronald Greene's family joined a rally Thursday in Baton Rouge, marching from the Louisiana Capitol to the governor's mansion to demand charges be filed against the troopers involved in the 49-year-old Black man's death. "We want every trooper involved in this incident to be terminated immediately," the head of the Urban League of Louisiana told the crowd, USA Today reports. "And then after the termination, we want every single trooper involved in this incident to be arrested. And then we want them to be charged." Greene's death after a police chase has been under investigation for two years. Body camera video shows the troopers punching and dragging Greene just before his death. In the meantime, a state police officer said, the troopers "have already received internal discipline."

Lawyers for Greene's family said they had a meeting with a local prosecutor Thursday and were encouraged by it. They left with the feeling that arrests could be made soon, per CNN. "What makes sense to us would be a charge of homicide on the officers that put their hands on Ronald Greene, and we want those also that participated in the cover-up that night and subsequently afterward to face punishment as well," Ron Haley said. But nothing came out of the family's 45-minute meeting Thursday with Gov. John Bel Edwards, which another lawyer for the Greenes described as "tense" but "respectful." The release of the video was significant, per USA Today. "The public now sees why we've been saying something is wrong," Haley said. "They see the inhumanity, the brutality, and the reckless indifference of Ronnie's life." (The FBI became involved last fall.)

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