Can We All Agree There Was A Cover-Up In The Ronald Greene Case?

That seems pretty clear at this point, does it not? If there wasn’t a cover-up after two Louisiana State Police troopers beat Greene to death on a North Louisiana roadside following a high-speed chase Greene led them on after he ran a red light, then how come the police report of his death indicated he died in a car crash?

And how come body-camera footage from the scene wasn’t turned over to John Belton, the district attorney for the Third Judicial District, from one of the officers who were there?

Oh, yeah. That came out in last Friday’s little docu-dump the state police offered up.

A senior officer who came to the scene where Louisiana State troopers were arresting Ronald Greene after a car chase 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.

Lt. John Clary’s body camera and dash camera of the May 10, 2019, incident were among nine videos released by Louisiana State Police during a Friday news conference by Louisiana State Police Superintendent Col. Lamar Davis.

And on Monday, Louisiana State Police Capt. Nick Manale said that after further review, “personnel discovered three videos utilized in the internal affairs investigation were not part of the evidence submitted to District Attorney Belton with the original case report.

“This evidence was used in the disciplinary procedures for Trooper York and previously had been submitted to federal investigators. It was again provided to federal investigators and to the District Attorney’s Office as a supplemental report.

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

It’s really pretty simple, no? Everybody who was there, give up that body cam and all the video gets uploaded to a server for the DA to look at.

Except it doesn’t work that way when the cover story is Greene died in a car wreck.

We’re usually as supportive of the police in these cases as we can be. But Ronald Greene was not Alton Sterling and he wasn’t George Floyd and he wasn’t Michael Brown. He wasn’t a career criminal, he wasn’t violent. Nobody called the cops on Ronald Greene because he was committing a crime.

The guy was a barber. He may have been drunk and he ran a red light. Then he didn’t stop when the lights came on behind him, because sometimes drunk drivers do that kind of thing. What he deserved was to pick up trash on the highway and be in debt for a good while paying an attorney and all the fines a judge was going to lay on him. Not getting beaten to death on a roadside.

This is the actual case that Black Lives Matter and the rest of the anti-cop Hard Left have been waiting for, and nothing happened for two years. Finally, in the last week or so it’s getting attention.

The real question isn’t whether the state police covered up the Greene matter. It’s how high up the whitewash went.

If you like to connect dots on stories like these, you might like the fact that the former superintendent, Kevin Reeves, who was allowed to quietly retire last fall after Edwards met with Greene’s family and a wrongful death suit was filed, used to be the troop commander of Troop F, the one at issue in the Greene case.

Seems cozy, doesn’t it?

Now – if this was just a case of Reeves taking care of his boys, wouldn’t you have expected Edwards to throw him under the bus and fire him over the cover-up last year rather than just offer a dignified retirement?

Because absolutely nobody ought to believe that Reeves had nothing to do with this disgrace. It at least went to his desk. How could it not?

The fact that Edwards gave Reeves a fond sendoff last year is a pretty good indicator that this case reached the Fourth Floor at the Capitol where the governor’s office is.

Again, remember the context. The Greene incident happened in May of 2019. What was going on in 2019? Edwards was busy running for re-election, and he looked eminently beatable.

Edwards had already been credibly accused of corrupting the State Police in an effort to get elected in 2015. He was taking laundered campaign money from the State Police Commission, which was patently illegal but of course he and they got away with it after a whitewash investigation by the head of his transition team magically found nothing wrong.

Edwards was going to need to turn out the black vote in massive numbers. There was no way on earth that was going to happen if the Greene incident had been common knowledge in the black community.

So it got covered up. And Edwards got more black votes in the November 2019 runoff against Eddie Rispone than Barack Obama got in November of 2008 or 2012.

Yesterday there was a demonstration at the state capitol over the Greene case. The NAACP and the Urban League were out there popping off about it.

Attorneys representing the Greene family called for immediate action by Governor John Bel Edwards.

“The Governor is the head of Louisiana State Police,” Lee Merritt said. “Louisiana State Police could take the initiative today. They have the legal cover to go out and make arrests. That’s the only thing we are requesting in that meeting.”

Merritt said nothing has changed despite two meetings with the governor.

“If it was left up to Governor John Bel Edwards, this meeting we had last September where this case was swept under the rug with minimal media attention… would have been the end of the story,” Merritt said. “A 50-hour suspension and the death of an officer who we didn’t get to see terminated. But the power is not in Governor John Bel Edwards. The cameras pointing at him and the national attention he’s receiving shows who’s in power, and that’s Mona Hardin and the community standing behind her.”

Merritt isn’t wrong, but it does seem sort of tame, doesn’t it? “The power is not in Governor John Bel Edwards?” Seriously?

If Edwards was a Republican given the fact this was swept under the rug in advance of his re-election and then he shined that family on last year, Merritt wouldn’t have been asking for a meeting. He would be demanding Edwards’ resignation.

So would the NAACP, and so would the Urban League. Especially after this ridiculously insincere statement that Edwards put out yesterday…

“What happened was tragic, and I cannot imagine the immense pain of losing a child in such a terrible way. Nothing can make up for the disturbing treatment he received at the hands of some state troopers. I pledged to Ms. Mona Hardin that Louisiana State Police is cooperating fully with the Union Parish District Attorney and the United States Department of Justice in their investigations and that under the leadership of a new state police superintendent, change has already started at the agency.

I expect every trooper who wears a Louisiana State Police badge to act professionally under every circumstance, to seek to de-escalate violent or tense situations and to treat all people they encounter respectfully and justly. Law enforcement officers must hold themselves to the highest standards at all times. I certainly do. The officers seen on the body cam footage of Mr. Greene’s arrest do not represent what we aspire to in the state of Louisiana. Their actions were deeply unprofessional and incredibly disturbing. I am disappointed in them and in any officer who stood by and did not intervene during the arrest.

I am praying that ongoing investigations, which the state is cooperating with, will bring Mr. Greene’s family a measure of peace and justice.”

But there isn’t any outrage over those after-the-fact crocodile tears.

Instead, this is now…Jeff Landry’s fault.

Wait, what? Yep, this is Landry’s fault. That’s what Merritt said.

During the news conference, Merritt criticized Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry for remaining silent on the death of Greene since the incident happened.

Merritt called out other state attorney generals that have commented on recent high-profile cases involving alleged misconduct by law enforcement, such as the case of George Floyd.

Why is Jeff Landry quiet on the case? Because since there’s a wrongful death suit filed against the state police, Landry’s office is statutorily required to defend the officers involved. He can’t pop off about it.

But Landry did have something to say yesterday, and it wasn’t as timid as Merritt’s statement.

“I have heard the concerns raised over the death of Ronald Greene. His family has my condolences and prayers.

The event captured on video took place two years ago and the Louisiana State Police – which reports to the Governor – has had this evidence, or the ability to access this evidence, since that time.

It is important to note that the criminal matter can be broken down into the investigation, state prosecution, and federal prosecution. Our office has no involvement in any of these as they are being handled by the Louisiana State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and the United States Department of Justice.

It is also critical to note that the Constitution of the State of Louisiana does not give the Attorney General original jurisdiction in criminal cases or authority to take a prosecution from a district attorney without cause of recusal by the DA. This criminal matter has been ongoing for two years with the involvement of the local District Attorney, and there is no legal cause for recusal.

I will continue to closely monitor the situation; and I trust DA Belton and the Biden DOJ will follow the facts and seek justice.”

We’ve been saying for years that cases like this – and cases of governmental corruption at the local level – should be in the AG’s purview. The Legislature has never acted on that, probably in the knowledge that any such bill would get vetoed with lightning speed by Edwards as he protects the good-ole-boys and Democrats who’d fare very poorly with an added layer of scrutiny.

But that’s where we are.

We feel for Greene’s family. They’ve been treated horribly, and not just by Edwards and the State Police. The “civil rights” gang who so commonly drop everything and start fires over cases a whole lot less egregious than this one didn’t lift a finger to help them until well after the political complications of doing so had passed, and so they’ve waited two years for a fair hearing in the public eye.

But what amazes us is how successful that cover-up has been and how Edwards managed, even now, to skate on this case. Apparently all that really matters to some of these people is the letter behind your name.

Interested in more news from Louisiana? We've got you covered! See More Louisiana News
Previous Article
Next Article
Join the Conversation - Download the Speakeasy App.

Trending on The Hayride