NEW ORLEANS – The ACLU of Louisiana released the below statement following the release of body camera footage showing the final moments leading up to Ronald Greene’s death at the hands of Louisiana State Police. The footage was released following a plea by Greene’s family during the ACLU’s Justice Lab Town Hall event on May 3. The statement should be attributed to ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Alanah Odoms.
“Nearly two years after Ronald Greene's death, we now know what Louisiana State Police were trying to hide: Ronald Greene was tortured to death by officers who denied him life-saving aide for more than nine minutes. What we are witnessing on this video is a brutal killing – a killing that was committed by cops but also condoned by our laws, perpetuated by white supremacy, and encouraged by a culture of impunity and violence.
Mona Hardin, Ronald Greene’s mother urges, ‘This was a premeditated taking of Ronnie’s life.’ Moreover, ‘what state police leadership have referred to as ‘awful but lawful’ is nothing more than corruption and an unjustifiable murder.’
Once again, we have proof that another unarmed Black man has been brutally killed by cops – we are deeply sympathetic to his family who have to watch this horrific video and grieve their loved one because of the actions of police officers who still have not been held accountable. The fact that Ronald Greene’s family had to wait two years after his death for this footage to be released to the public is an unacceptable miscarriage of justice that needs to be addressed now.
Louisiana State Police, despite having a long history of excessive force and civil rights violations, are often charged with investigating allegations of excessive force and misconduct by local police departments.
These interactions are not new. The systemic targeting of and use of excessive force against people of color is woven into the fabric of our law enforcement institutions and stems from the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow in this country. Nothing will change about policing until everything changes about policing. Not only must the officers responsible for this atrocity be held accountable, but our entire system of policing also needs to be reimagined. A system that produces such extreme levels of violence and brutality cannot be reformed – it must be dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up.
There is no alternate path toward justice.”