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Louisiana State Trooper Suspended For Kicking, Dragging Ronald Greene Before His Death

Ronald Greene was reportedly choked, dragged face down, and repeatedly tased by law enforcement officers in 2019 before he died in custody. 

By Jill Sederstrom
Ronald Greene Ap

A trooper with the Louisiana State Police was suspended without pay in January after graphic body camera footage showed him kicking and dragging Ronald Greene while he is handcuffed before his 2019 death in police custody.

The footage, which Greene’s family has likened to the death of George Floyd, allegedly shows Master Trooper Kory York dragging the handcuffed Black man from his leg shackles while he is face down on the ground, according to internal State Police records obtained by The Associated Press.

“You’re gonna lay on your f---ing belly like I told you!" York says at one point in the footage, according to the records.

York had turned his own body camera off before the incident but it was captured by other body cameras on officers at the scene.

The 49-year-old was being taken into custody in May 2019 after leading authorities on a high-speed pursuit outside Monroe, Louisiana. Troopers in the footage can also be seen choking and repeatedly tasing Greene. He was brought to a local hospital bruised and bloody, according to an attorney who represents the Greene family.

Greene reportedly then went into cardiac arrest, The Advocate reports. A medical report cited in a federal wrongful death lawsuit said police initially told Greene’s family he had “died on impact” after crashing into a tree, the AP reported last year.

The police records are the first confirmation from the State Police that Greene had been mistreated during the incident. His death has now led to a federal civil rights investigation.

Authorities have refused to publicly release the body camera video, although last year state and federal prosecutors allowed the family to view the graphic footage.

“The video was very difficult to watch,” civil rights attorney Lee Merritt said at the time. “It’s one of those videos like George Floyd and even Ahmaud Arbery, where it’s just so graphic.”

York has reportedly been suspended without pay for 50 hours after an internal investigation into Greene’s death. He served his suspension in January, Captain Nick Manale said in a statement emailed to Oxygen.com. Manale added that the investigation remains under review.

“It is now undisputed that Trooper York participated in the brutal assault that took Ronald Greene’s life,” Mark Maguire, a Philadelphia civil rights attorney representing Greene’s family, told the AP. “This suspension is a start but it does not come close to the full transparency and accountability the family continues to seek.”

A second trooper, Chris Hollingsworth, was fired for his role in Greene's apprehension after a 27-second audio clip obtained by The Associated Press was released last year. In it, Hollingsworth could be heard describing the beating.

“I beat the ever-living f--- out of him,” Hollingsworth is heard saying in the audio.

He added that officers had been trying to get Greene under control.

“We finally got him in handcuffs when a third man got there, and the son of a b---- was still fighting him, was still wrestling with him trying to hold him down,” Hollingsworth said. “He was spitting blood everywhere and all of a sudden he just went limp.”

Hollingsworth died in a car crash hours after he was fired.

Attorneys for Greene’s family have denied he was resisting arrest after the chase ended.

“Ronald immediately surrendered at his first contact with law enforcement. When the vehicle stopped, he put his hands up and said, ‘I’m sorry,’” Merritt said last year. “His dying words were ‘I’m sorry.’”

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