Explosive testimony from trooper in Ronald Greene case

Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 2:21 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 11, 2022 at 6:36 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A Louisiana State trooper testified Friday, March 11 that his superiors did not follow his recommendation that a fellow trooper be arrested in connection with the death of motorist Ronald Greene.

And, he hinted, he was also banned from discussing the Greene case with the local district attorney, something that had never happened to him before. Greene died in 2019 following a pursuit by Louisiana State Police (LSP) that ended with him crashing his vehicle near Monroe. Bodycam footage shows white troopers tazing and beating Greene and later dragging him by his ankles. The agency is accused of trying to cover up exactly how Greene died.

Federal authorities are investigating the case but have not made any arrests. One of the troopers involved in the Greene case died in a single-car crash shortly after being told he faced being fired for his alleged role in Greene’s death, The Associated Press has previously reported.

During Friday’s meeting, LSP Troop F Lt. Johnny Brown said he told his immediate supervisor, Lt. Gary Beasley, that he thought one of the troopers in the Greene case should be arrested but Beasley did not follow his advice. Brown did not tell legislators the name of the trooper he thought should have been arrested.

State Senator Katrina Jackson of Monroe then asked Brown who else in the state police chain of command knew of his suggestion that a trooper be arrested. Before he could answer, however, the chairman of the committee, Sen. Franklin Foil, cut him off.

“ I don’t want to get involved at all with an ongoing investigation that could hurt what they are trying to do,” Foil said.

Brown also said he routinely meets the district attorney in the jurisdiction where something happens to review the facts of cases he investigates. Senator Jackson asked Brown if he had ever been instructed by any of his LSP superiors to not meet with a district attorney about a particular case. Brown said that has only happened one time and that was in 2019. He did not specifically say if that was part of the Greene investigation or not. Senator Cleo Fields, of Baton Rouge, thanked Brown for being “honorable” and suggested that Brown hire a lawyer to represent him and not solely rely on state police lawyers.

Fields said when other LSP employees have come forward with information this is detrimental to Louisiana State Police, they have ended up in bad situations.

”They end up either leaving or retiring from state police or they end up being fired,” Fields said. “The thing that bothers me is, every time someone comes here and tries to tell the truth - every single time - and it really frustrates me - they end up either leaving or retiring from State Police or they end up being fired, Fields said. “And that angers me. You’re a good man. A very honorable man.”

Brown told Fields he does not believe he needs to hire a lawyer because he has done nothing wrong and has never committed a crime.

Louisiana State Police, asked for comment about Brown’s testimony, declined. “Any circumstances related to a specific case in 2019 would likely be part of the ongoing federal investigation and LSP would not be able to provide additional information at this time,” LSP spokesman Lt. Nick Manale said.

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