Louisiana troopers accused of killing Black man and obstructing investigations

Five current and former state troopers in Louisiana are now accused of brutalizing and killing a Black man and obstructing investigations. The arrest of Ronald Greene generated allegations of cover-up and multiple investigations. Roby Chavez reports from New Orleans.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Five current and former State Troopers in Louisiana are now accused of brutalizing and killing a Black man and obstructing investigations. The arrest of Ronald Greene in 2019 generated allegations of cover-up and multiple investigations.

    Roby Chavez reports from New Orleans. And a warning: Some of these details are graphic.

  • Roby Chavez:

    After a years-long investigation, a moment of celebration…

  • Speaker:

    Five officers have been charged.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

  • Roby Chavez:

    … as the family of Ronald Greene learned the five officers involved in his deadly 2019 arrest are being charged with state crimes.

    But Greene's mother said the indictments still fall short of justice.

    Mona Hardin, Mother of Ronald Greene: This is three-and-a-half years of a murder and a cover-up. Let's not forget who aided and abetted, to where we had to really struggle just to get what we got today.

  • Roby Chavez:

    Greene's death gave his family cause for suspicion from the start, when authorities said he died in a car crash at the end of a high-speed chase. The body camera footage was withheld from the autopsy.

    It finally emerged last year, when the Associated Press obtained it, bringing to light what really happened and likely led to Greene's death. Then that graphic video, troopers are seen stunning the 49-year-old Greene repeatedly, ignoring his calls for help.

  • Ronald Greene, Died Following Arrest:

    Officer, I'm scared. I'm just scared.

  • Roby Chavez:

    One trooper who faces the most serious of the charges drags him by his ankle shackles and digs his foot into Greene's back to force him to lay down.

    The video shows Greene face down in the dirt for more than nine minutes. The five officers will face charges from negligent homicide to malfeasance.

    The NAACP president in Baton Rouge reacted today.

  • Eugene Collins, President, NAACP Baton Rouge:

    I'm deeply saddened that it took all of this, even with a video of a Black man getting beat to death on the side of a road. It never should have gotten here.

  • Roby Chavez:

    Greene's mother is urging substantial prison time for the officers.

  • Mona Hardin:

    They need to be held accountable., because, if not, you condoning you are condoning the killing of Ronald Greene. You're OK with my son being murdered.

  • Roby Chavez:

    A federal grand jury investigation into the incident and broader questions about possible obstruction of justice is still ongoing.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Roby Chavez.

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