Louisiana Black Caucus, activists demand police transparency

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This undated photo provided by the family of Ronald Greene via the Baton Rouge chapter of the NAACP in September 2020 shows injuries on his body.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Members of Louisiana’s Legislative Black Caucus joined activists to demand transparency from state police after the death of a Black man during a struggle with troopers, among other incidents involving the agency.

The group gathered Wednesday on the Capitol steps in Baton Rouge for a news conference and demanded the immediate release of all body camera and dash camera video of state police’s encounter with Ronald Greene, 49, in May 2019, The Advocate reported.

Police initially told Greene’s family he died from injuries suffered in a crash at the end of a car chase near Monroe that began over a traffic violation. State police later acknowledged there was a “struggle” with troopers, including Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth, who died in a single-car crash last month.

“We’ve been asking the tough questions and the answers aren’t coming fast enough for us,” The Advocate quoted state Rep. Ted James, a member of the Legislative Black Caucus, as saying.

Greene’s relatives and their attorneys met with state legislators ahead of the news conference, the newspaper said. The family has filed a federal wrongful-death suit alleging troopers “brutalized” Greene, leaving him “beaten, bloodied and in cardiac arrest.”

Hollingsworth, who was white, was heard on a body camera mic recording obtained by the Associated Press this month admitting to severely beating Greene. The trooper died in the crash hours after he learned he was being fired for his role in the case.

The demonstrators Wednesday also demanded the resignation of state police Superintendent Col. Kevin Reeves, alleging the legislature made an exception in Louisiana’s nepotism laws to allow his son, Kaleb Reeves, to remain a trooper.

Kaleb Reeves was involved in a car crash while responding to a call in Monroe last week that left an 11-year-old and an 18-year-old dead. State police have not released any details on what caused the crash.

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