The family of Ronald Greene, who died two years ago after being beaten and handcuffed by Louisiana police officers, have called for justice following the release of bodycam footage from the incident.
“I haven’t processed what happened to him, if there’s even such a way of properly processing,” his mother, Mona Hardin, told CNN’s Don Lemon on Thursday evening.
Initially, the family was told that Mr Greene, 49, died from injuries he sustained in a crash after he failed to stop for a traffic violation just outside Monroe, Louisiana, on 10 May, 2019. Deputies failed to report any use of force used against Mr Greene at the time.
But bodycam footage released this week after it was obtained by the Associated Press showed a different story.
Mr Greene, a Black man, can be heard saying, “I’m your brother! I’m scared! I’m scared!” to troopers multiple times in the footage as he’s hit repeatedly with a stun gun. Footage then showed deputies wrestling him to the ground, placing him in a chokehold, and punching him multiple times in the face.
One deputy was also seen dragging the unarmed man by his ankle shackles while he lay on the ground.
The AP has obtained 46 minutes of footage from the incident, but the agency has yet to release all of it.
It was reported that troopers, who were white, left Mr Greene moaning on the ground face down for more than nine minutes while they wiped away blood from their hands and face.
“I’ve got blood all over me, I hope this guy ain’t got f****** Aids,” one officer was heard saying.
Mr Greene’s sister, Alana Wilson, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that she first saw the video of the incident on Wednesday, even though the family has been asking authorities for more answers into his death for years.
“I’m still on the hunt and on a chase for justice for my brother,” Ms Wilson said. “I can’t even grieve my brother properly knowing that they did this to an innocent human being.”
She described the incident as “a cover-up on many levels”, and said the family was now seeking accountability for anyone involved in the altercation.
“What these guys did to my son and the cover-up that ensued behind all that ... someone has to stay focused and my family will,” Mr Greene’s mother said. “What they did to Ronnie, they have to pay the penalties.”
The Associated Press was expected to release more footage from the incident in the coming days. It has not revealed how it obtained the footage.
Members of Mr Greene’s family first saw bodycam footage last fall of the incident, according to the family lawyer. At the time, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said the footage would not be released to the public until after the federal investigation finished.
Following the premature release of the footage this week, Louisiana State Police said federal authorities have barred them from commenting on the Greene case.
In a statement to the AP, the agency said the “premature public release of investigative files and video evidence in this case is not authorized and ... undermines the investigative process and compromises the fair and impartial outcome.”
The exact cause of Mr Greene’s death is still under investigation.
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