…over the Ronald Greene case, and there will be a press conference at 11 a.m. at which we will be regaled with Black Caucus accusations of racism within the ranks of the troopers.
The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus is holding a news conference on Tuesday, July 6 at 11 a.m.
The news conference is going to focus on “ongoing controversies with the Louisiana State Police Department and the next steps to restore public trust,” according to the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus.
In May of this year, one of those controversies was addressed by the Louisiana State Police with the release of all body-cam footage relating to the Ronald Greene investigation.
The news conference is taking place inside the Louisiana State Capitol.
But we have a question for Rep. Ted James, the Black Caucus chair, and the rest of the legislators who will fight over the microphone to deliver a message of how black folks can’t get a fair shake from state troopers – a message that, for once, actually does have a bit of validity to it given that the Ronald Greene case was probably the worst of all of the police-encounters-turned-deadly that the Black Lives Matter crowd has turned into a casus belli against the rest of America.
The question is this: how far up does it go, this accountability that you seek?
Because we know that there was a cover-up of the Greene case. Clearly, that happened. The incident itself, in which Greene was beaten to death on a roadside after having crashed his car against a tree during a high-speed chase on a Union Parish country road, was certainly bad enough; Greene was a black motorist clearly in the wrong for fleeing police after running a red light, but that shouldn’t carry a death sentence and unlike Alton Sterling or George Floyd he wasn’t a career criminal resisting arrest. But what indicts the state police in the Greene case is also the fact that rather than give the incident a full airing and allow it to serve as a lesson about what to do and what not to for both police and citizens alike, it was buried for two years before the body-camera footage leaked to the Associated Press in May of this year.
So a cover-up to protect a bunch of white state troopers and their bosses – does that interest the Legislative Black Caucus?
What if that cover-up goes all the way to the Fourth Floor of the State Capitol where the governor’s office is located?
Because it’s pretty obvious it does. Kevin Reeves, who was the superintendent of the State Police, is known to have been involved in what ultimately was a slow-walked LSP investigation of the Greene matter and who apparently was very anxious to bury the case, was allowed to retire gracefully last year. His chief of staff Mike Noel was appointed the head of the state gaming board, until he Noel resigned in May rather than go through a confirmation hearing at which he would have had to answer questions about the Greene incident.
If the Fourth Floor wasn’t involved in the cover-up it’s a pretty good bet Reeves and Noel would have met with less-friendly career treatment last year. And of course the Fourth Floor had motivation to participate in the cover-up; had the public been aware of the Gteene case back in May of 2019 when the incident happened, it’s a good bet the black community would have been a whole lot less pleased with Louisiana’s Democrat governor who was utterly dependent on massive turnouts from black voters in getting re-elected in November of 2019.
In other words, the Black Caucus stood by and let John Bel Edwards run a “racist” and deadly State Police and didn’t impose any accountability on him whatsoever over the Greene case. Instead, they helped turn out a larger black vote for Edwards in 2019 than Barack Obama managed in Louisiana in either 2008 or 2012.
Did they know about the Greene case when they helped turn out that vote? Did they intentionally hide it from their constituents? Were they complicit in this cover-up of an incident that they’re now going to scream about?
And what does this say about the Black Caucus?
Nothing good, that’s for sure. It’s pretty blatant hypocrisy and opportunism to wait two years until there is no political risk involved in raising hell over a legitimate case of police maltreatment, and then moan about how bad things are.
Nobody ought to give a hot damn about No Shame Ted James’ complaints today. They ring hollow. They’re two years old and stale.