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Newly released footage of a Black man dying in police custody shows state troopers choking and beating him as he said ‘I’m sorry,’ lawyer says

A video of a Black man being beaten by Louisiana police, kept away from the public for more than a year, was finally shown to his family this week.

The family of Ronald Greene, who died after a brutal encounter with Louisiana State Police, saw a “graphic” 30-minute video on Wednesday depicting what happened to Greene when he was arrested by officers in May 2019, attorney Lee Merritt told the Associated Press. Merritt told the outlet the video shows cops choking and beating Greene, repeatedly stunning him with Tasers and dragging him face-down on the pavement.

“The video was very difficult to watch. It’s one of those videos like George Floyd and even Ahmaud Arbery where it’s just so graphic,” Merritt said.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards was also on hand to watch the video.

Before Merritt’s description of the footage from police body cameras, little was known about what actually happened to Greene. Local and state officials have refused to release the video, citing ongoing investigations into the arrest. Initially, State Police blamed Greene’s death on injuries from a car crash after a high-speed chase. The crash report filed by police did not mention any use of force, nor did it state that Greene had actually been taken into custody.

What Merritt described is a brutal arrest that may have well caused Greene, a 49-year-old barber, his life. From the AP:

At one point, an officer is seen placing a foot on Greene “while another hogties him,” he said. One trooper can be heard calling Greene a “stupid son of a bitch,” Merritt said, while another cautions that “we shouldn’t tase him any more.”

“Ronald immediately surrendered at his first contact with law enforcement. When the vehicle stopped, he put his hands up and said, ’I’m sorry,’” Merritt said. “His dying words were, ‘I’m sorry.’”

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