Politics

Appeals court denies troopers’ request for immunity in Ronald Greene lawsuit


BATON ROUGE – An appellate court has decided that five troopers named in a wrongful death lawsuit after Ronald Greene died in police custody will not be immune from the litigation.

The troopers — Dakota DeMoss, John Peters, John Clary, Floyd McElroy, and Kory York — had filed an appeal seeking qualified immunity from the suit. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down its decision Tuesday upholding a district court’s earlier ruling.

WBRZ first covered Greene’s death in September 2020, when Louisiana State Police placed one trooper on leave for his role in the deadly arrest, which resulted from a high-speed chase in the Monroe area in May 2019. That trooper, Chris Hollingsworth, was caught on an audio recording shortly after the arrest saying he “beat the ever living f*** out of” Greene, and he was later questioned internally for his conduct during the stop. 

Hollingsworth, was later sent a termination letter amid mounting scrutiny over Greene’s in-custody death, and the trooper died shortly afterward in a single-vehicle crash that many have said was a suicide.

State Police refused to release body camera or dash camera video of the arrest until it finally leaked in May 2021, two years after Greene’s death. That video showed troopers beating, tasing and dragging a handcuffed Greene by his legs. He died in custody shortly after that video was taken. 

Criminal investigations into the troopers’ conduct are ongoing at both federal and state levels.



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