Ronald Greene’s Murder Was Just One Example of a Larger Pattern in Louisiana State Police

Issued June 10, 2021

Yesterday, we were made aware of what the Associated Press (AP) calls “an internal investigation by a secret panel over whether its officers (Troop F, specifically) are systematically targeting Black motorists for abuse” in the Louisiana State Police. The AP states the panel was set up in response to Greene’s death as well as three other violent stops of black men who were harmed at the hands of Troop F officers. The secret panel is said to be reviewing thousands of body-camera videos from the past two years involving as many as a dozen White troopers and including at least four of those who were involved in Greene’s murder.

We also learned that Louisiana State Police finalized Dakota DeMoss’ termination with an effective date of June 4th. Though DeMoss is one of the troopers involved in Ronald Greene’s death, his termination was not solely based on his violence against Ronald Greene. DeMoss was involved in a separate use of force incident on another Black man, Antonio Harris, which occurred almost exactly a year after the murder of Ronald Greene. In this case, as we saw in Ronald Greene’s death, Louisiana State Troopers brutally beat Harris, sought to conceal body camera footage of the incident and then created a false report.

The AP article describes a number of additional similar incidents – all of which took place within the last two years, and all of which involve White troopers brutally beating unarmed Black men who were not resisting arrest. Of importance is this specific quote – “While none of the other beatings that prompted the broader review of Troop F resulted in deaths, all led to felony charges against some of the troopers involved. And, like Greene, all the suspects were driving alone, were unarmed and didn’t appear to resist after troopers closed in.”

What does all of this tell us?

It tells us that some Troop F officers have been charged for their brutality, while those involved in Mr. Greene’s death and the cover-up have faced ZERO charges in the 762 days since they killed him. It also tells us that the behavior and brutality are rampant. Ronald Greene’s death was not an isolated event. The troopers involved are not exceptions. The incident is not an outlier.

The Louisiana State police must correct the culture of violence that is clearly deeply embedded, and the response must be systemic. The use of a “secret panel investigation” by the same organization that is guilty of turning a blind eye to these incidents is not what transparency or accountability look like. We demand that the Louisiana State Police deliver on their promise for increased transparency by creating a public oversight committee to increase accountability, public trust, and public awareness. The actions required of LSP in this moment to address the frequent and inexcusable behavior of State Troopers must include individual accountability, transparency in its processes, and long-term systemic change.

As of today, there have been no charges levied against the troopers involved in Ronald Greene’s murder and cover-up. We continue to demand accountability and systemic change within the Louisiana State Police and we call for the findings of the secret panel to be made public. We will continue to fight together and we want to be clear in our message to the Louisiana State Police that the actions taken thus far in the case of Ronald Greene are not what we consider to be justice, transparency or accountability.

We demand more.

The Urban League of Louisiana, NAACP Baton Rouge and the ADL South Central Region

Sign the petition.