NEW ORLEANS (AP) — In perhaps the strongest evidence yet of an attempted cover-up in the deadly 2019 arrest of Ronald Greene, the ranking Louisiana State Police officer at the scene falsely told internal investigators that the Black man was still a threat to flee after he was shackled, and he denied the existence of his own body camera video for nearly two years until it emerged just last month.
New state police documents obtained by The Associated Press show numerous inconsistencies between Lt. John Clary’s statements to detectives and the body camera footage he denied having. They add to growing signs of obfuscation in Greene’s death, which the white troopers initially blamed on a car crash at the end of a high-speed chase and is now the subject of a federal civil rights investigation.
The highly secretive case has drawn national attention since last week when the AP began publishing graphic body camera videos that showed troopers repeatedly jolting Greene with stun guns, putting him in a chokehold, punching him and dragging him by his ankle shackles. And like George Floyd’s death a year ago, it once again highlighted the importance of video as key evidence in police misconduct cases.
“Video doesn’t lie, and the best way to protect the integrity of law enforcement agencies is with body camera footage,” said Rafael Goyeneche, a former prosecutor who is president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, a New Orleans-based watchdog group.
But Clary, the highest-ranking officer among at least six state troopers at the scene of Greene’s May 10, 2019, arrest, told investigators later that day that he had no body camera footage of the incident — a statement proven to be untrue when his 30-minute body camera video of the arrest emerged last month. read more..