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Lawmakers are asking the governor to testify in the Ronald Greene inquest

Louisiana lawmakers on Wednesday asked Gov. John Bel Edwards and his top attorneys to testify before a bipartisan committee investigating allegations of a cover-up in the 2019 fatal arrest of black motorist Ronald Greene.

The request comes just a few days later The Associated Press reported that Edwards and his attorneys privately viewed a long-held video showing Greene breathing his last during his fatal arrest, but did not act urgently to get the crucial footage into the hands of those authorized to track the white state police officers of Louisiana, who were considered stunning, punched and pulled the man.

The video, which showed critical moments and audio missing from other footage that was turned over, did not reach prosecutors until nearly two years after Greene’s death on May 10, 2019, at a rural roadside near Monroe. Prosecutors and detectives said they didn’t even know the 30-minute clip existed until six months after the governor saw it in October 2020.

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Republican House Speaker Clay Schexnayder cited “serious questions that only the Democratic governor and his staff can answer.”

“This committee will do its job and follow through no matter where the evidence goes,” Schexnayder said in a statement calling for the governor to appear before the committee on June 16.

Edwards’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. The governor initially described the law investigation as a “witch hunt” when it began in February, but later said he would consider any requests for documents or testimony “very seriously.”

Edwards’ lead attorney Matthew Block told the AP there was no way the governor knew at the time that the video he was viewing had not yet been turned over to prosecutors, and neither the governor nor his staff had endeavors to withhold evidence.

That Legislative Committee For weeks he has been trying to piece together the state’s response to Greene’s death by questioning and even subpoenaing a long list of law enforcement officials handwritten journals a former state police commissioner.

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Lawmakers are now turning to what the governor knew when he knew and what he did about a death in custody that soldiers initially attributed to a car accident. The legislative inquiry comes amid ongoing federal and state investigations that have resulted in no indictments.

It’s about the 30-minute body camera footage of Lt. John Clary, the senior police officer who responded to Greene’s arrest. It is one of two videos of the incident and captured events not seen in Trooper Dakota DeMoss’ 46-minute clip, which shows soldiers swarming Greene’s car after a high-speed chase, repeatedly shocking him with stun guns and hitting him on the head and dragged him by his shackles.

Clary’s video is perhaps even more relevant to the investigation because it is the only footage showing the moment a handcuffed, bloodied Greene groans under the weight of two police officers, twitches, and then falls silent. It also shows soldiers ordering the heavyset 49-year-old to remain face down on the ground and hold his hands and feet for more than nine minutes – a tactic of use of force experts have criticized as dangerous and likely his restricted breathing.

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The governor’s attorneys did not mention seeing the Clary video at a meeting days later with prosecutors, who would not receive the footage until a detective discovered it almost by accident six months later. But state police say they showed Greene’s family the Clary video days after the governor saw it.

Several members of Greene’s family have denied seeing the video, but one of her attorneys emailed lawmakers this week confirming they had indeed seen Clary’s video, citing contemporaneous notes.

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Mustian reported from Los Angeles, Bleiberg from Dallas.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/national/2022/06/01/lawmakers-ask-governor-to-testify-in-ronald-greene-probe/ Lawmakers are asking the governor to testify in the Ronald Greene inquest

Sarah Y. Kim

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