CNN has obtained an autopsy report from the night Ronald Greene died in 2019 as well as body camera video from a Louisiana State Police trooper who arrived as other officers attempting to arrest Greene had him on the ground.
The new video is 30 minutes long and appears to show a different perspective from the scene than recordings previously released by The Associated Press.
CNN is reviewing the newly obtained bodycam video.
Greene’s death two years ago is being relived by his family as the videos from his encounter with the troopers are being released publicly.
S. Lee Merritt, one of the attorneys representing Greene’s family, told CNN on Friday morning that the new video is from the perspective of a supervising trooper arriving on scene.
Merritt added it was “video we just learned about,” and that “we just gave them (the AP) permission to go ahead and publish.”
The AP on Wednesday had posted three clips, totaling just over two minutes in length, from the video it said was 46 minutes long.
Louisiana State Police Superintendent Col. Lamar Davis said at a news conference Friday evening that the department was releasing all the video related to the case and the ongoing criminal investigation.
Autopsy cites cause of death
Greene’s cause of death is listed in an autopsy as “cocaine induced agitated delirium complicated by motor vehicle collision, physical struggle, inflicted head injury, and restraint,” according to the report, obtained by CNN on Friday from a source with knowledge of the investigation.
The report, prepared by the Union Parish Coroner’s Office, states in its opinion section that lacerations of Greene’s head were “inconsistent with motor vehicle collision injury and most consistent with multiple impacts from a blunt object.”
The report also notes that “no written incident report was provided despite requests,” and that “no detailed information regarding the motor vehicle collision … was provided. It also notes that “no emergency services medical records were provided” to the coroner’s office.
“Whether this injury is due to trauma from the motor vehicle collision, subsequent struggle, or is resuscitative in nature cannot be stated with certainty. These findings can be associated with motor vehicle collision, but may also be seen in other circumstances, including inflicted injury during a struggle and/or related to resuscitative efforts (CPR),” the report said.
There were significant levels of cocaine and alcohol in Greene’s blood, the report says.
CNN has reached out to the coroner’s office for comment on the report. The autopsy does not list the manner of death (accidental, homicide, natural causes, suicide or undetermined).
Family still dealing with Greene’s death
His family says they have not been given a chance to grieve him.
“I haven’t processed what happened to him, if there’s even such a way of properly processing,” his mother Mona Hardin told CNN’s Don Lemon on Thursday.
Greene’s family says police initially told them he died on impact when his car crashed on May 10, 2019, after a police pursuit.
Video obtained by the AP and released this week shows Greene face down on the road after the crash outside the city of Monroe being tased and kicked by LSP officers as he tells them he is scared. An initial crash report from state police did not mention there was a struggle between Greene and the officers.
Greene died on his way to a hospital, according to the LSP Criminal Investigations Division.
CNN has reached out to the officers’ attorneys for comment on the video.
Greene’s sister, Alana Wilson, said she saw the initial batch of videos for the first time on Wednesday. She told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that authorities have sent the family on a “runaround” since his death, never giving them correct or full information.
“I’m still on the hunt and on a chase for justice for my brother,” Wilson said. “I can’t even grieve my brother properly knowing that they did this to an innocent human being.”
The incident involved “a cover-up on many levels,” she said, and the family is calling for accountability from everyone involved, particularly the officers who Hardin said “allowed him to just slowly die on the spot.”
“What these guys did to my son and the cover-up that ensued behind all that … someone has to stay focused, and my family will,” said Hardin, who told CNN Friday she first saw the video at the invitation of Louisiana’s governor last year. “What they did to Ronnie, they have to pay the penalties.”
What the video published Wednesday showed
In the three brief video clips posted by the AP on Wednesday, Greene can be heard apologizing to the officers that night, saying he was scared and supplicating for their mercy.
Greene’s car door is opened. A Taser goes off.
“OK, OK,” Greene is heard saying. “I’m sorry. I’m scared. Officer, I’m scared. I’m your brother. I’m scared.”
Moments before, an officer approached Greene’s car, his weapon drawn: “Let me see your f**king hands m*therf**ker.”
After being tased, Greene can be heard moaning while still on the ground and being put in handcuffs by one officer, while another officer kicks him several times. An officer can be heard saying, “I’ve got blood all over me, I hope this guy ain’t got f**king AIDS,” as Greene continues to moan. At one point an officer drags Greene.
The AP reported that Greene is left lying face down moaning for more than nine minutes while officers used sanitizer wipes to wash blood off their hands and faces. This is not in any of the video segments the AP has posted online.
The release of the clips comes as the US Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are investigating the death, along with the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana and the FBI.
In a statement, the LSP said it did not release the video and that it was not authorized or obtained by official sources. LSP said it had been directed by investigating agencies to not release any evidence or further information on the case.
Family says he was a person who loved people
The man who told officers “You’re my brother” is who Greene really was, his family told CNN.
Wilson said her brother was someone who loved people. “He exuded that even in the midst of them taking him down,” she said.
Hardin said she is struggling now, not having the son who would always try to get her to take a more positive view on things when she was feeling down, telling her “Ma, you’re not looking at it the way you should look at it.”
His favorite phrase, she said, was “We’re winning.”
Crash report doesn’t mention struggle; separate document says investigation into death started that day
A state official with knowledge of the Greene investigation told CNN that the LSP was investigating the incident as a criminal matter from the first night.
“State police investigators were there onsite that night and launched a criminal investigation,” a source with direct knowledge of the incident told CNN. The state official was not authorized to speak to the media because the case is pending federal review.
The initial crash report from state police made no mention of troopers using force or arresting Greene.
That crash report said two troopers pursued a vehicle being driven by Greene following an attempt to pull him over for an unspecified traffic violation, and the pursuit ended when Greene crashed his vehicle.
A separate state police document noted that the Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division was called about an hour after the crash to investigate Greene’s in-custody death.
That document — an initial complaint by the investigations division — says “Greene was taken into custody after resisting arrest and a struggle with troopers.”
“A short time later Greene became unresponsive and was transported to Glenwood Medical Center by Pafford Medical Service,” the initial complaint reads.
He died on the way to the hospital, the initial complaint reads.
In May 2020, Greene’s daughter filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against seven law enforcement officers that said Greene was “brutalized by Louisiana State Police and Union Parish Deputy Officers which caused his death.” The lawsuit alleged officers “used lethal force” against him.
Hardin, Greene’s mother, told CNN Thursday that two investigative officers told the family shortly after the death that Greene crashed into a tree during a pursuit.
The lawsuit alleges “one officer told Greene’s mother that he had been killed immediately after hitting a tree.”
The AP reported last year that Union Parish Coroner Renee Smith said Greene’s death was ruled accidental and was attributed to cardiac arrest.
The lawsuit said an initial report from the Glenwood Medical Center listed the principal cause of Greene’s death as cardiac arrest. He was also diagnosed with an “unspecified injury of head,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also cites a GCM emergency room physician who allegedly noted that differing accounts about what happened to Greene did not “add up.”
“Upon obtaining more history from different law enforcement personnel, history seems to be disjointed and does not add up. Different versions are present,” the lawsuit quotes the physician as saying.
“Family states they were told by law enforcement that patient died on impact with (tree) immediately after motor vehicle accident, but law enforcement state to me that patient for [sic] out of the car and was running and involved in a fight and struggle” and was “tased 3 times.”
Two officers involved in the incident were reprimanded for their actions that night two years ago, including not following procedures for body-worn cameras.
One officer is on administrative leave in connection with a separate incident. Another officer received a 50-hour suspension, according to an LSP spokesperson.
A third officer — who was heard in an audio recording last year describing beating “the ever-living f***” out of Greene — died in a single-vehicle crash in September.