The family of Ronald Greene and organizers of local activist organizations gathered via zoom to discuss the recent developments in Greene's death investigation.
The press conference was held in response to a recent press conference that Governor Edwards held following questioning on what he knew about the killing and when he knew it.
Organizers began the presser by showing the police bodycam video of Ronald Greene's death in 2019 along with an interview from the Associated Press with a legal expert.
Organizations assembled say that Governor Edwards stated there was not a cover-up of this incident but they say they know that that is not truthful.
"Ronald Greene was viciously murdered, he did not just die in custody as Governor Edwards stated. He was murdered." Not only were the officers involved alienating his rights. He was tortured. It was cruel and unusual punishment at the hands of the state. The highest office is the Governor. He was made aware that someone died and his only response was thanks. That is not only inhumane but shows he is not interested in public safety," Krystal Muhammad with the New Black Panther Party stated.
The governor, in his Tuesday press conference, said that he would never do anything to impede an investigation that has been alleged in some media reports. He stated that before the videos were made public, he declined to characterize them. The DOJ, he stated, requested that Edwards not make videos public and he believed that included speaking publicly on the case.
Once those videos were made public in May 2021, he finally made his opinion known. Read more from that press conference here.
Muhammad says that with the division and protests that have been happening across the state, Edwards's comments were heartless and blatantly racist. "To come on and say he knew this would not have happened if Greene was white. To say there was no misconduct or cover-up is a blatant lie. It is impeachable."
The New Black Panther Party says they want the people who are involved in Greene's murder to be held accountable, they say.
Those gathered are calling for charges to be brought against the officers in this case. They also say they want the governor to resign.
They are also asking for the legislature to enact a session to come up with legislation that holds officers accountable for their actions.
"It is past the time that legislation is passed to hold law enforcement accountable," Muhammad stated. "Officially, what happened to Mr. Greene was a violation of human rights and these cases should be presented before the international criminal court. These are violations of human rights, you are failing to protect your people."
Devon Norman with The Village 337 shared the same sentiments as Muhammad.
"We are calling out 'his bluff.' The governor was backed into a corner," he said of the press conference. Norman says when Edwards said he knew Greene did not die in a car accident, he realized Edwards knew more than he was letting on.
"Dealing with COVID-19 was more expedient than dealing with the killing of Ronald Greene," Muhammad added.
The Village 337 says they have been active both locally and statewide concerning incidents of police brutality. Norman says they question why Edwards did not take any action behind closed doors.
Edwards explained during his press conference that from the beginning, he never mischaracterized Greene's death. He said that the initial text never stated that Greene died in a car accident and that he has never said that Greene died in that way.
Edwards also says that his office has not interfered or tried to influence the investigation into Greene's death. The Governor's Office only played a part in letting Greene and other leaders, with permission from DOJ, view the body cam videos.
The Village 337 says they have reached out to the federal government to open up an investigation into the Governor and the Louisiana government, to get the information they need in this and other fatal officer-involved cases.
The Greene family, who was supposed to be in attendance, was not able to attend the virtual conference to share their comments.
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