Gov. John Bel Edwards (Wes Muller/Louisiana Illuminator).
Gov. John Bel Edwards will hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon to address questions regarding his knowledge of the death of Ronald Greene in state police custody.
The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus has requested to meet with the governor about the incident after the Associated Press reported Friday that Edwards first learned of Greene’s death within hours of his May 2019 arrest via text message from then-state police Superintendent Col. Kevin Reeves.
In a statement Monday afternoon, the governor’s office said that text message informed Edwards of the death of an unnamed individual. It was not until September 2020 when Edwards first learned of the “serious allegations against Louisiana State Police surrounding the arrest and death of Mr. Ronald Greene,” the statement said.
The governor’s office provided the text message to the AP and included it in the email sent to news outlets Monday.
The entire statement reads as follows:
“The Governor first learned of the serious allegations against Louisiana State Police surrounding the arrest and death of Mr. Ronald Greene in September 2020. He had previously been notified of the arrest and death of an unnamed individual in May of 2019 by then LSP Superintendent Col. Kevin Reeves. That text message was provided to the Associated Press by the Governor’s office and is attached to this email.
“It is standard practice for the head of LSP to notify the Governor of incidents where a person dies in custody. He did not see, nor was he aware of, the videos of the arrest until much later in October of 2020. From the moment the Governor learned of the allegations and saw the videos, he has consistently said that the actions of the officers in the videos were disturbing and unacceptable and that the matter should be fully investigated by federal and state authorities.
“Neither the Governor nor anyone on the Governor’s staff has ever intervened or interfered in any criminal investigation, including the investigation into Mr. Greene’s death.
“The Legislative Black Caucus has requested to meet with the Governor about the serious allegations in the Associated Press article and that meeting will take place tomorrow afternoon. He will speak to and take questions from the media after that meeting.”
Rep. Vincent Pierre, D-Lafayette, chairman elect of the Black Caucus, issued the following statement Monday afternoon with regards to the investigation into Ronald Greene’s death:
Details on the press conference are expected from the governor’s office later Monday.
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