Ronald Greene’s family will ‘not stop fighting for justice,’ advocate says

Supporters rally at State Capitol

By: - May 27, 2021 9:33 pm

Ronnie Garrett of Baton Rouge attends a rally in support of Ronald Greene’s family and other survivors of police violence at the State Capitol Thursday, May 27, 2021. (Wes Muller/Louisiana Illuminator).

Surviving family members and other advocates for Ronald Greene, who died in the custody of Louisiana State Police officers in May 2019, rallied on the steps of the State Capitol in Baton Rouge Thursday. They demanded that authorities take immediate action against the officers involved in Greene’s death now that a video showing some of Greene’s final moments has been made public.

Thursday’s rally marked 100 days since the 49-year-old died after leading state troopers on a vehicle chase in Monroe. Last week the Associated Press released leaked body-cam footage that showed White Louisiana State Police troopers kicking, dragging and using stun guns on Greene, a Black man who was prone and handcuffed. Troopers initially told Greene’s family that he died on impact after crashing his car, according to the AP report that broke the story.

From the steps of the Capitol, Judy Reese Morse, president of the Urban League of Louisiana, said, “This is not as complex as some may try to make this. Stay clear and focused on what this is: We want every trooper involved in this incident to be terminated immediately. And then after the terminations, we want every single trooper involved in this incident to be arrested, and then we want them to be charged.” 

In October, the Associated Press released a 27-second audio clip which reportedly catches one of the troopers telling a colleague, “I beat the ever-living f— out of him,” (referring to Greene). That trooper later died in a single-vehicle crash hours after he learned an internal investigation had been launched — more than a year after Greene’s death.

Last year, Gov. John Bel Edwards allowed Greene’s family and their attorneys to privately view the body-cam footage but did not release it to the public until late last week following the AP’s release of the leaked footage. 

Other speakers at Thursday’s rally included family members of Trayford Pellerin, a 31-year-old Black man who was fatally shot multiple times by Lafayette police on Aug. 21, 2020, family members of Tommie McGlothen, a 44-year-old Black man who died in the custody of Shreveport police on April 5 and others who said they’d been victimized by police. 

Alanah Odoms, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana, told the crowd that Greene’s family will not just go away.

“His family is not going to stop fighting for justice,” she said.

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Wes Muller
Wes Muller

Wes Muller traces his journalism roots back to 1997 when, at age 13, he built and launched a hyper-local news website for his New Orleans neighborhood. In the years since then, he has freelanced for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and worked on staff at the Sun Herald in Biloxi, WAFB-9News CBS in Baton Rouge, and the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, Mississippi. He also taught English as an adjunct instructor at Baton Rouge Community College. Much of his journalism has involved reporting on First Amendment issues and coverage of municipal and state government. He has received recognitions including McClatchy's National President's Award, the Associated Press Freedom of Information Award, and the Daniel M. Phillips Freedom of Information Award from the Mississippi Press Association, among others. Muller is a New Orleans native, a Jesuit High School alumnus, a University of New Orleans alumnus and a veteran U.S. Army paratrooper. He lives in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, with his two sons and his wife, who is also a journalist.

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