BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Nearly three years after the death of Ronald Greene, Lt. Col. Kenny VanBuren says that Greene’s death was a cover-up.
The House Special Committee to Inquire into the Circumstances and Investigation of the Death of Ronald Greene met on Thursday to hear more testimony.
“That incident started out as use of force in custody death investigation and at some point, somebody made it a decision to coin it a fatality,” VanBuren said. “Here’s the deal, we talk cover-up, potential cover-up, we’re agreeing with y’all.”
Greene died in police custody after an arrest following a high-speed chase outside of Monroe. Before videos of the incident became public, police said Greene died from a car crash. Body camera video shows Greene beaten and tased.
During Thursday’s committee, retired Captain Mark Richards says that former Assistant Superintendent Bob Brown asked him to block the crash report from being distributed.
Richards said he asked Brown for that request to be written because he found it “highly uncommon.”
“I think you can classify retirees with State Police within the last three to six years in one of three ways. People that get their time and they just go, retire in disgrace and, I think, people who retire in disgust and I’m one of those,” said Richards.
Coroners from Ouachita and Union parishes also testified. They say parts of the initial coroner’s report are missing. Some committee members say that this is important to look into because it shows something was off about this case from the beginning.
Committee members say this testimony is shining a light on the culture of the State Police.
“That was not an isolated incident. That was intentional. That was part of the cult, in my opinion,” said Rep. Jason Hughes.