BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Department of Justice announced they are launching a “pattern or practice” investigation into the Louisiana State Police Thursday, three years after Ronald Greene died while in State Police custody.
Greene’s mother, Mona Hardin, is pleased with the announcement and she’s hoping this will bring justice to dozens of families.
“I was literally struck, I was literally, whoa,” Hardin said. “I’m elated, I’m in a good place.”
Body camera footage taken three years ago shows Louisiana State Police beating Greene. He eventually died, allegedly from those injuries. The footage will play a role in the new investigation. Greene’s family’s attorney, Ron Haley, hopes the tapes will be reviewed deeply.
“Not just to go back and look at use of force in the body cams,” Hayley said. “But the times the body cams were manually turned off and what was in the reports in those cases.”
Haley is under a gag order and cannot comment about Greene’s case, but he can speak broadly about how he thinks this investigation will play out.
“A lot of work has gone to get to this point and I am relieved for not only the families that I represent but I am relieved for the citizens in the state of Louisiana that we are going to get true accountability and transparency from the highest law enforcement agency in the state,” Haley said. “I hope what is brought to light is a real examination in looking at what are the problems that created these biases de facto policies and procedures and hopefully real tangible solutions that the citizens of the state can accept so that trust can be built again.”
The investigation is going back five years, well before Greene’s death. For Hardin, this is a good move on the investigators’ part to find previous injustices.
“It started out as Rodney, but it’s not about Rodney,” Hardin said. “It’s about all that’s happened before and since Rodney. We cannot just make it about our one lost loved one…. You are not forgotten, your child will not be forgotten.”
Haley said anyone who has experienced discrimination or brutality at the hands of State Police should share their story.
“I am going to implore anyone who is listening to this who has any issue with LSP that you do not think was above board to contact the Department of Justice,” Haley said. “The only thing that they have is the data that they have from the public domain but they want to hear the stories, they want to hear what is going on to really get a sense of what the culture was.”
The Department of Justice posted online, “Individuals with relevant information are encouraged to contact the Department of Justice via email at Community.Louisiana@usdoj.gov or by phone at (202) 353-0684. Individuals can also report civil rights violations regarding this or other matters using the Civil Rights Division’s reporting portal, available at civilrights.justice.gov.”