All officers charged in Ronald Greene’s death plead not guilty

Five current and former Louisiana law enforcement officers were charged with state crimes Thursday in the deadly 2019 arrest of motorist Ronald Greene.
Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 11:54 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 11, 2023 at 12:09 PM CDT
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FARMERVILLE, La. (KNOE) - All five law enforcement officers charged with state crimes in the deadly 2019 arrest of Ronald Greene have chosen to plead not guilty during the arraignment on April 11, 2023.

RELATED STORY: Grand jury indicts 5 law enforcement officers in deadly arrest of Ronald Greene

Trooper Kory York faces a negligent homicide charge and 10 counts of malfeasance in office. The four other troopers are charged with malfeasance and obstruction of justice.

A sixth trooper, Chris Hollingsworth, died in an car wreck before charges were handed down but after admitting he used his flashlight to beat Greene.

This is all of the information as of now. The story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Long shrouded in secrecy, Greene’s death exploded into public view last year after AP obtained and published graphic body-camera footage showing the 49-year-old pleading for mercy and wailing, “I’m your brother! I’m scared! I’m scared!”

Authorities initially told Greene’s family he died in a crash following a lengthy police pursuit — a narrative the family rejected and that was questioned even by an emergency room doctor after Greene’s bruised and battered body arrived at the hospital. Still, a coroner’s report listed the cause of death as motor vehicle accident, while a state police crash report omitted any mention of troopers even using force in Greene’s arrest. And 462 days would pass before state police began an internal investigation into the troopers involved.

All the while, the body-camera footage remained so secret it was withheld from Greene’s initial autopsy. Gov. John Bel Edwards declined repeated requests to release the videos, citing the ongoing investigations, before AP published them.

The Democratic governor has since described the troopers’ treatment of Greene as both criminal and racist.

The state and federal investigations have been complicated by the untimely death of Chris Hollingsworth, a state trooper who admitted bashing Greene’s head with a flashlight and was recorded saying he “beat the ever-living f--- out of” Greene. Hollingsworth was widely seen as the most culpable of the half-dozen officers involved but he died in a high-speed, single-vehicle crash just six days after he was interrogated about the violence he used taking Greene into custody.

Hollingsworth’s death was ruled accidental but prompted widespread speculation that the former state police driving instructor took his own life. His violent role in Greene’s arrest prompted prosecutors to explore the possibility of charging him posthumously.

Among the witnesses testifying to the grand jury is Albert Paxton, the now-retired lead detective on the Greene case who has said supervisors pressured him not to bring state charges in the case.

Another is a forensic pathologist who, tasked by the FBI to re-examine Greene’s autopsy, rejected the crash theory and attributed Greene’s death to “physical struggle,” troopers repeatedly stunning him, striking him in the head, restraining him at length and Greene’s use of cocaine.

The Associated Press contributed to this report