Trooper at center of inquiry into suspect's death facing termination, now hospitalized after weekend crash
BATON ROUGE – A northeast Louisiana State Trooper was issued a notice by State Police of an intent to terminate amid a department investigation into a deadly police chase.
It was issued within the last few days and comes after reporting by WBRZ Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto over questions surrounding the chase and the death of the suspect being pursued.
The trooper at the center of what is now a federal investigation is Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth.
Hollingsworth has been on leave since Sept. 9, 2020, the day WBRZ inquired about the incident between Hollingsworth and Ronald Greene, the man who died at the end of the pursuit in the Monroe area in May 2019.
Greene was killed, State Police told the man’s family, when he wrecked his car at the end of the pursuit in a rural area. Pictures later obtained by WBRZ show Greene’s vehicle had minor damage. His body was seen with deep contusions and wounds - lacerations on his head that were not consistent with such a minor crash - medical experts told Nakamoto, who was given the images.
WBRZ has made an editorial decision to not publish the photos showing Greene’s body.
After the crash, Greene’s family alleged in a federal lawsuit the man was tased multiple times by troopers involved in the pursuit, beaten and that officers used excessive force when Greene attempted to surrender while telling the officers “I’m sorry” and being held on the ground.
State Police have refused to acknowledge whether any force was used but said there was a “struggle with troopers” and that Greene died en route to a Monroe-area hospital.
State Police has been investigating the incident since it happened more than a year ago.
The federal Justice Department is also investigating, WBRZ has learned.
Sources who asked not to be identified said the intent to terminate letter issued to Hollingsworth recently is the first step toward the agency attempting to part ways with the master trooper. Hollingsworth has the ability to appeal any termination decision.
State Police said as of Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, "MT Hollingsworth is still employed and on administrative leave. The administrative and criminal investigation is still on-going."
Other sources said Hollingsworth was involved in a violent crash in northeast Louisiana Sunday night, leaving him severely injured and hospitalized. A department email from Col. Kevin Reeves asked for agency employees to pray for Hollingsworth.
Hollingsworth was off-duty and in his personal vehicle at the time of the crash. Monroe Police are investigating the wreck, which sources said occurred while the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed.