Judge drops charges against 2 officers implicated in Ronald Greene's deadly arrest
A judge quashed two counts filed against Louisiana officers connected with the investigation into the death of Ronald Greene, a Black man who died in State Police custody, according to court records obtained by WBRZ.
Greene was arrested in May of 2019 after a chase ended in a crash. Responding troopers said Greene was resisting arrest and struggling, but body camera footage released years later showed Greene being pulled from his vehicle and being violently beaten. Greene's family was told that he had died on impact in the crash.
Former state troopers John Peters and Dakota DeMoss will no longer face obstruction of justice charges in the case, according to court documents filed Monday.
Third Judicial District Court Judge Thomas Rogers ruled that two statements Peters made during the course of the investigation "did not meet the standard" to count as obstruction of justice.
“(Peters) is alleged to have said ‘Bury it in the report,’ and ‘Don’t send the videos unless the (meaning the DA) asks for it,’” the judge’s ruling said. “‘Bury it in the report’ presumably is an admonition not to destroy, alter or remove inculpating evidence from a report, but to place it in the middle or towards the end of the report where a reader might overlook it.”
DeMoss was accused of having turned off his body camera audio, but Rogers determined this also did not constitute obstruction.
"It's another nail in the coffin for black and brown motorist. That free pass has already existed. They have no problem behaving the way they do, knowing top brass, and political higher ups will get them off the hook," Greene's mother, Mona Hardin said.
The remaining three officers also filed for their charges to be quashed. Several were denied. Others are pending with the request of more specific evidence from the state. That is due tomorrow.
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