Skip to Content

Louisiana trooper involved in Ronald Greene’s arrest will be fired over unrelated use of force case, source says


One of the troopers involved in Ronald Greene’s arrest will be fired over an excessive force incident not involving Greene, according to a Louisiana state official with knowledge of the investigation.

The dismissal of Trooper Dakota DeMoss by Louisiana State Police is pending official paperwork, the official said Tuesday. The official did not provide details of this other case.

Kory York, another trooper involved in the May 2019 incident with Greene, has been disciplined by state police for his role in Greene’s death. The source said York is awaiting the outcome of a federal review of the case.

Earlier versions of this article, quoting two sources with knowledge of the investigation, incorrectly suggested that DeMoss and York were being terminated for their involvement in Greene’s death.

The news comes less than a week after video of Greene’s arrest was released publicly — initially by the Associated Press and then by state police — that shows his encounter with police.

Greene, a 49-year-old Black man, died after what the police described as resisting arrest and a struggle with officers May 10, 2019. However, his family said that they were told that Greene died in a car crash after a police chase, and their attorneys have accused police and state officials of engaging in a cover-up.

Greene’s family filed a federal wrongful death suit May 6, 2020, alleging he was “brutalized by Louisiana State Police and Union Parish Deputy Officers which caused his death.”

Videos from body cameras worn by Lt. John Clary, Trooper Chris Hollingsworth, York and DeMoss were made public Friday.

DeMoss had been notified of the department’s intent to fire him and remains on leave “pending the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings, related to a separate excessive use of force investigation,” Superintendent of Louisiana State Police Col. Lamar Davis said Friday. York completed a 50-hour suspension and returned to duty pending the outcome of the review by federal and state authorities.

CNN has reached out to an attorney for DeMoss but has not heard back. York’s attorney, Jay Adams, told CNN last Wednesday they had no comment on the pending litigation.

Hollingsworth was set to be terminated for violations regarding body-worn camera and car camera systems, use of force, performance, lawful orders and for conduct unbecoming an officer. But he died in a car crash before he could be fired, Davis said.

Senior officer did not initially report footage, police say

In addition, Clary, a senior officer who came to the scene of Greene’s arrest, did not initially report his camera footage in the evidence submitted to District Attorney John Belton, according to a spokesperson for the Louisiana State Police.

Clary was not part of the initial police chase and did not initially report being part of the use of force incident. Videos from Clary’s body camera show troopers still holding Greene to the ground, Greene moaning, and troopers explaining their decision not to set Greene upright for fear he would spit blood on them.

“Internal reviews are currently ongoing to determine why those videos were not identified during the original criminal investigation,” Capt. Nick Manale said.

CNN’s attempts to reach Clary on Monday were not successful and an attorney listed for him in a lawsuit didn’t respond to a request for comment.

At a news conference Tuesday unrelated to the case, Gov. John Bel Edwards said he was disturbed by the videos from the troopers’ body cameras.

“I wouldn’t have been disturbed had I thought (the encounter) was professional. Had I thought that those officers had performed as they should. They did not,” Edwards said. “They don’t represent what we aspire to in the state of Louisiana at the Louisiana State Police, especially once Mr. Greene was not just in custody but was restrained.”

He said he also was disappointed in officers at the scene who didn’t intervene to stop the troopers.

In an interview with CNN, Greene family attorney Lee Merritt said that the family plans to travel Thursday to Baton Rouge, where they will join the NAACP and the ACLU in a march from the steps of the state Capitol to the governor’s compound.

“The family is still looking for an audience with John Bel Edwards and (Louisiana Attorney General) Jeff Landry,” Merritt said. “The family is asking for able-bodied persons to come and stand for justice for Ronald Greene.”

What the videos show

The nine body camera and dash camera videos released Friday offer a graphic account of the encounter two years ago. The release came after portions of at least two videos were reported on by the Associated Press earlier in the week.

Greene’s family has said they were told by police Greene died in a car accident. But the graphic videos tell a different story.

The videos depict parts of the chase as troopers pursued Greene’s car and tense radio transmissions can be heard describing what was happening, but at no point in any of the videos released are images of Greene’s car visible.

Attempts to pull Greene from his vehicle are seen and heard.

“OK, OK, OK officer — Lord Jesus,” can be heard and a Taser can be seen going off while Greene is still in the car.

Almost four minutes pass from the moment troopers open Greene’s car door until he’s fully handcuffed. Taser prongs still embedded in Greene’s skin are visible as his shirt lifts up while troopers curse and wrestle to pull his arms behind his back.

One video depicting the scene was more than 46 minutes long. A little after 22 minutes into the video, the audio goes silent. Later, from another camera, the EMS arrival can be seen, and Greene appears limp.

Audio from Hollingsworth’s body camera has a telephone exchange inside his patrol vehicle as he’s leaving the scene. He says Greene was drunk.

“And I beat the ever-living f*** out of him, choked him and everything else trying to get him under control and we finally got him in handcuffs,” Hollingsworth says in the video.

He adds Greene “was still fighting and we was still wrestling with him trying to hold him down because he was spitting blood everywhere.”

“And then all of a sudden he just went limp,” Hollingsworth says.

An autopsy report from the night Greene died did not list a manner of death, noted that “no written incident report was provided despite requests” and that no detailed information regarding a car accident had been provided, either. The report said that lacerations on Greene’s head were “inconsistent with motor vehicle collision injury. These injuries are most consistent with multiple impact sites from a blunt object.”

Correction: Earlier versions of this article incorrectly stated that Troopers Dakota DeMoss and Kory York will be fired following their role in the Greene case. In fact, according to the Louisiana state official with knowledge of the investigation, DeMoss is being terminated for an unrelated excessive force case. York has been disciplined for his role in Greene’s death, the state official said.

Article Topic Follows: National & World

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content