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Trooper given 50-hour suspension for turning off body camera, kicking Black man who died in custody

3 years 4 months 2 weeks ago Monday, March 01 2021 Mar 1, 2021 March 01, 2021 4:52 PM March 01, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

MONROE - A Louisiana State Trooper who shut off his body camera and kicked a handcuffed Black male, drug him by his leg shackles received a 50-hour suspension according to documents obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit. That man, Ronald Greene, died as a result of the encounter.

Attorneys representing the Greene family are calling for Trooper Kory York's termination and arrest.

York was given the suspension by former Colonel Kevin Reeves. The discipline that Reeves instituted came on the same day as head of Louisiana State Police announced his retirement. Reeves resigned under a cloud of controversy.

In the disciplinary letter, Colonel Lamar Davis wrote to York that he did not agree with it and thought it should be more severe. Davis wrote the discipline decided on by his predecessor would be carried out to avoid violating Louisiana State Police Commission rules.

Greene died in a 2019 encounter with State Police in the Monroe area. Initially, State Police told Greene's family that he died in a fender bender. But leaked audio surfaced from Trooper Chris Hollingsworth's body camera.

Our sources said Hollingsworth turned off his body camera, so Greene's beating was not captured on his equipment. However, when he got back in his unit, the camera reactivated and captured audio of Hollingsworth talking to someone.

That audio explains exactly how Greene died.

"I beat the ever living f*** out of him, choked him and everything else to get him out of control," Hollingsworth was recorded saying. "We finally got him in handcuffs when a third man got there, and the son of a b**** was still fighting and still wrestling with him trying to hold him down. He was spitting blood everywhere and all of a sudden he went limp."

Hollingsworth was given intent to terminate papers last year, and hours after being served he died in a single-vehicle crash that our sources have said was a suicide.

York's disciplinary letter states, "You arrived on scene approximately five minutes after the driver, Mr. Ronald Greene had been handcuffed. After you arrived on scene, you walked over to Mr. Greene who was handcuffed lying on the ground, and placed your left foot on his right shoulder. After you took your left foot off his shoulder, you lightly kicked his right thigh with your right foot."

The letter goes on to say, "You moved Mr. Greene by dragging him on his stomach by the leg shackles placed on his ankles, and used profanity toward Mr. Greene, who was handcuffed and in custody."

Ron Haley is representing the Greene family.

"Kory York should be in jail," Haley said. "What he did to Ronald Greene was inhumane. It was wrong and illegal."

Haley called the 50-hour suspension given to York by former Colonel Kevin Reeves a joke.

"The fact that he only received a 50-hour slap on the wrist is absolutely ridiculous," Haley said. "He should be immediately fired."

We reached out to State Police for an interview about this story. A spokesman said they could not talk about the case because it remains under investigation by the United States Justice Department.

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