Skip to content

New Here?

New Reporting on the Death of Ronald Greene Highlights Need for Police Reform in Louisiana

October 5, 2020

In a recording obtained by the Associated Press, “a Louisiana State trooper implicated in the death of a Black man [Ronald Greene] can be heard talking of beating and choking him before ‘all of a sudden he just went limp,’” the AP reported. The recording went public as the Louisiana legislature is currently in special session, and the Police Training, Screening, and De-escalation Task Force is in the midst of composing recommendations for reform in the wake of numerous fatal police shootings, including the police shooting of Trayford Pellerin.

“This disturbing recording makes it all the more clear how desperately Louisiana needs significant police reform,” said Angelle Bradford, a volunteer with the Louisiana chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Only then can we begin to honor the lives of Ronald Greene and Trayford Pellerin with action, by addressing the systemic racism that enables gun violence and police violence to take a disproportionate toll on Black people in Louisiana.” 

The officer heard on the recording recounted that he “beat the ever-living f— out of him,” according to the AP. Greene’s family was originally told that he died from injuries suffered from a car crash; the initial state police crash report does not mention police use of force. Advocacy groups, including the NAACP, have called for further investigations and the release of body camera footage. 

Meaningful use of force policies encourage de-escalation, utilize early intervention systems, and ensure that officers who act in a manner that is criminally negligent can be held accountable. Use of force policies can ensure that laws help advance safety and promote trust in the police. 

Research suggests that implementing specific use-of-force policies can save lives. One 2016 study of 91 large police departments found adoption of use-of-force reform policies—exhaustion of other means prior to shooting, bans on chokeholds and strangleholds, use-of-force continuum, de-escalation, duty to intervene, restrictions on shootings at moving vehicles, and warning before shooting—was associated with fewer people killed by police. 

Black people in the United States are nearly three times more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts, and data from Mapping Police Violence shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns. 

If you're a member of the media, please send inquiries to [email protected]