Louisiana Police Unit Reportedly Under Investigation After Black Man Dies In Violent Arrest

Topline

A police unit assigned with patrolling much of northeastern Louisiana is under investigation for alleged racial profiling, according to The Associated Press, after reporting revealed several examples of Black men being violently detained by police, with one dying in custody.

Key Facts

A Louisiana State Police panel has been formed to investigate Police Troop F, AP reported, with the investigation closely focused on up to a dozen officers—including those involved in the deadly 2019 arrest of Ronald Greene.

The secret panel of investigators, confirmed by four individuals to the AP, is set to scour over thousands of hours of body camera footage taken from the officers over the past two years, to see if there is a pattern of officers racially targeting Black motorists.

The investigation will also reportedly focus on whether officers purposely tried to hide evidence of brutality, through actions like turning off their body cameras or mislabeling body camera video.

The Louisiana State Police did not respond to a request for comment from Forbes seeking additional information.

Key Background

The police unit has come under intense scrutiny after video was released of Greene’s arrest, which showed Greene being tased, dragged by his ankles and forced to remain on the ground despite having dangerously low oxygen levels and pleading for mercy after a high-speed pursuit. An autopsy listed Greene’s cause of death as “cocaine induced agitated delirium complicated by motor vehicle collision, physical struggle, inflicted head injury and restraint,” while noting he had a torn aorta, a broken breastbone and had alcohol in his system. But state police made no mention of physically interacting with Greene in initial reports, instead saying he died in a car crash. 

Crucial Quote

“He was tortured,” Greene’s sister, Dinelle Hardin, told CNN in an interview last month, where she also claimed police “were out to kill him.”

Surprising Fact

No police officers have been charged in the Greene case, but officer Dakota DeMoss—who was involved in arresting Greene—was arrested in February for allegedly using excessive force while detaining another motorist. Two other officers have been directly disciplined for their role in Greene’s arrest, including officer Chris Hollingsworth, who was fired in September and died in a single-vehicle crash just hours after hearing the news. After his death, the AP released an audio recording of Hollingsworth appearing to brag about his role in Greene’s arrest, saying, “I beat the ever-living f—- out of him.”

What To Watch For

There is an ongoing federal civil rights investigation into Greene’s death, and his family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit relating to his treatment by police.

Further Reading

AP: Louisiana police unit probed over Black driver arrests (The Associated Press)

‘I’m scared’: AP obtains video of deadly arrest of Black man (The Associated Press)

Black man says white trooper beat him with flashlight (The Associated Press)

‘He Was Tortured’: Outrage Erupts Over Videos Of Black Man’s Deadly Encounter With Louisiana Police (Forbes)

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