Nakamoto: Fallout grows after State Police email thread suggests agency sought ways to limit death liability
BATON ROUGE- Attorneys representing the Ronald Greene family said emails obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit show a coverup continued at Louisiana State Police even after questions surrounding his death came to light.
Emails published by the WBRZ Investigative Unit Friday showed that Troop F Commander John Peters wrote to the department's head attorney, Faye Morrison, claiming Greene died in a crash.
Those emails are dated from November 2020, exactly three weeks after the Greene family was invited to Monroe to watch the body camera videos from state police's encounter with Greene.
Attorney Ron Haley was with the family during the viewing.
"I think it is inconceivable that you could sit there and look at Mona Harding's face and her daughter and say you are sorry, and then three weeks later you are still trying to plot, plan and perpetuate a lie," Haley said.
In the aftermath, Troop F Commander John Peters emailed lead agency attorney Faye Morrison. Peters said reconstructionists pulled data from Greene's car and claimed he died of an aortic rupture caused by 19G's of force. In his email he claims detectives proved troopers did not cause Greene's death.
But, the body camera eventually released of the incident showed Greene alive and talking after the wreck.
"I'm sorry," Greene is heard saying on one of the troopers' body cameras. "I'm scared."
In the email thread, Morrison responded to Peters. She said he should save his research because it will be helpful "to provide to our attorneys for defense of department and department personnel."
"This is what interrupts the trust that the community is supposed to have with police," Eugene Collins with the NAACP said.
Collins and Haley both said the public deserves better. They believe the emails show the coverup was allowed at the highest of levels.
"Ms. Morrision has showed time and time again that she is willing to protect that system at all costs," Collins said. "I would hate to think in 2021, that it's someone's job to cover up murder. That wouldn't be allowed on the community's side and shouldn't be allowed on that side. They should be held to a much higher standard."
WBRZ requested an interview with Louisiana State Police Monday. We asked specifically about why troopers said Greene died in a crash when body camera video shows he was alive and apologizing when he exited his vehicle.
Monday evening, Louisiana State Police issued the following statement:
Whereas it remains inappropriate for the department to comment on ongoing civil litigation and pending criminal investigations, individual emails fail to provide a full understanding of the entire investigative process. LSP is confident in the judicial system and fair review of this incident considering all facts and evidence.