‘Hide it and deny it’: Trooper says he was ordered to bury Ronald Greene evidence
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A Louisiana State trooper told a state legislative committee Tuesday that the former head of Louisiana State Police (LSP) Troop F allegedly asked him to bury evidence in the Ronald Greene death investigation.
LSP Troop F Lt. Johnny Scott Brown told state lawmakers that the request came from Troop F Commander John Peters. Peters, who oversaw Troop F at the time of Greene’s death, retired late last year.
Brown did not elaborate on what that evidence was. However, another investigator on the case, Sergeant Albert Paxton, told WAFB-TV Tuesday that Peters allegedly asked him and Brown to hide the body cam footage from the Greene case and “deny it existed.”
Greene died in 2019 following a pursuit by Louisiana State Police (LSP) that ended with him crashing his vehicle near Monroe, in the Troop F jurisdiction. Body cam footage shows troopers tasing and beating Greene and later dragging him by his ankles. The agency is accused of trying to cover up exactly how Greene died.
“Nobody in my chain of command wanted anything done,” Brown told lawmakers about the troopers involved in the Greene incident. The committee of Louisiana state lawmakers was convened to investigate the death and allegations that some members of Louisiana State Police tried to cover up certain facts about the case.
Earlier this month, Brown told another legislative committee that his superiors did not follow his recommendation that a fellow trooper be arrested in connection with the death of motorist Ronald Greene. That particular committee is tasked with reviewing State Police reform.
Brown hinted that he was also banned from discussing the Greene case with the local district attorney, something that had never happened to him before.
Federal authorities are investigating the case but have not made any arrests. One of the troopers involved 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.
When Brown testified earlier this month, he was told by a lawmaker on that committee that he should consider hiring a lawyer to represent him.
Senator Cleo Fields told Brown when other LSP employees have come forward with information that is detrimental to Louisiana State Police, they have ended up in bad situations.
“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,” said Fields. “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.
A few days later, Brown announced he will be retiring from Louisiana State Police later this year. Paxton recently retired from LSP. A spokesman for Louisiana State Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon about the claims by the troopers that they were asked to bury evidence.
Citing the ongoing federal investigation, a spokesman for Louisiana State Police said the agency could not comment on Tuesday’s claims by the two troopers that they were asked to bury evidence. We were unable to reach Peters for comment.
Editor’s note: Watch testimony from today’s hearing ahead on WAFB 9NEWS at 6 p.m.
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