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State lawmaker calls out state police for 'accountability problem'

11 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago Monday, December 13 2021 Dec 13, 2021 December 13, 2021 11:35 AM December 13, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Leaders from Louisiana State Police were called to the State Capitol for the second meeting of the Senate Select Committee on State Police Oversight. The committee's current goal includes reviewing past and ongoing investigations of excessive force.

Louisiana State Police (LSP) Col. Lamar Davis was forced to apologize during the opening moments of the meeting for troopers who failed to show up. The highest ranking trooper on scene the night Ronald Greene died was summoned to the capitol, but was a no-show.

"If he chooses not to testify he has that right," State Senator Cleo Fields said. "But he does not have the right to defy the committee, and we don't have to subpoena him."

The main case capturing attention from elected state leaders and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) includes the 2019 death of Ronald Greene. The WBRZ Investigative Unit continues to report extensively on the contradictory statements and actions of State Police in the subsequent months following Greene's death in north Louisiana.

Paxton's notes tied to the investigation were first published by the WBRZ Investigative Unit this year. Those notes indicated that Paxton wanted some of his colleagues arrested for Greene's death. During the hearing Monday, Paxton said all but one person in his chain of command disagreed with his findings.

In fact, he was issued a letter of discipline this year after he ran into trouble and began sending his wife who is a lawyer information about the stonewalling he was encountering.

"I'm being investigated because I won't participate in the coverup," Paxton said. "I won't hide evidence, and won't lie."

Greene's family has a pending wrongful death lawsuit against Louisiana State Police, who claimed Greene died as a result of a car wreck. Body camera footage shows Greene pleading with law enforcement before his death in May 2019. The crash shows minor damage to his vehicle, but extensive injuries including stun gun prongs left in the body of Greene.

"I'm so damn mad that I'm talking to people that have the power to make things happen and it's a formal procedure," Greene's mother, Mona Hardin said.

The FBI continues to investigate State Police, there's been no announcement of charges for the troopers involved in Greene's death.

With few answers and years that have gone by since Greene's death, some are questioning if justice will ever come.

"We're sitting here today talking about a coverup because back in 2019 people didn't understand how the video system works," Eugene Collins with the Baton Rouge NAACP said. "We're here today we sat here for sometime and saw folks from the highest law enforcement agency and not know how the video system works. It makes me believe there could be another Ronald Greene case.. even with the changes."

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