The Week (US)

Yet another horrifying police video


Charles Blow

In the majority-Black cities and towns along I-20 in Louisiana where I grew up, said Charles Blow, “the Louisiana State Police reigned.” They did not make us feel safe. That’s why I was not surprised by the bodycam footage from 2019 released by the Associated Press last week that showed state troopers from that area savagely beating to death Ronald Greene, a 49-year-old Black man, after he tried to escape when they stopped him for a traffic violation. The troopers originally told Greene’s family he died after crashing into a tree, but the 46-minute video shows Greene pleading for mercy when troopers open his car door. “I’m sorry,” he says. “I’m scared.” The seven troopers present, all of whom are white, immediatel­y tase him, then punch him in the face, handcuff him with hands behind his back, and drag him by his ankles facedown on the ground as he moans in agony. For angering troopers, Greene received an immediate “death sentence.” The troop involved in Greene’s death is 86 percent white and 9 percent Black, and polices an area that’s 40 percent African-American. “What could possibly go wrong?”

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