Issued: December 16, 2022
The Urban League of Louisiana commends Union Parish District Attorney John Belton and the Grand Jury for its decision to indict five of the law enforcement officers involved in the death of Ronald Greene on May 10, 2019. We especially applaud Union Parish District Attorney John Belton for his decision to empanel a grand jury to review the evidence and facts in this case. District Attorneys have incredible discretion on charges to pursue in any case, and DA Belton’s action should be underscored. This indictment is another very important step in our collective pursuit of justice for Ronald Greene and his family. We now call on the related law enforcement agencies to take the appropriate action of terminating and arresting the indicted officers pending trial.
So often matters of injustice happen in African American and other underserved communities, without accountability for those responsible. This indictment by the Union Parish grand jury is a step towards the type of accountability underserved communities deserve and proof that we should all continue to speak out and provide advocacy in the face of injustice. This is also a reminder of the incredible power and discretion of prosecutors we elect.
On May 19, 2021, upon the release of the leaked footage of the death of Ronald Greene, the Urban League of Louisiana joined together with like-minded partners to express the urgent need for a deeper federal investigation due to the apathetic response by the Louisiana State Police, sent letters to federal and state officials requesting action, and secured over 27,000 signatures in a petition demanding justice for Ronald Greene. This advocacy helped contribute to the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division opening a civil rights pattern or practice investigation into Louisiana State Police earlier this year. While we recognize these measures of progress, we still strive for the day where African Americans and other marginalized communities are not victims of discriminatory policing and systemic racism by law enforcement.
The Urban League of Louisiana will continue to fight with the Ronald Greene family and other advocates to make sure justice is secured. We will continue to fight for additional action to be taken to address the systemic patterns and practices of police brutality throughout our state. And the Urban League of Louisiana will always fight for African Americans and other communities seeking civil rights.