Louisiana District Attorney John Belton has dropped charges against Lt. John Clary, who was initially charged with malfeasance in office and obstruction of justice in connection with the death of Ronald Greene. Clary is now expected to testify against his former colleague, Master Trooper Kory York, who is being charged with negligent homicide.
The incident occurred in May 2019 when Greene, a Black man, failed to pull over for an unknown traffic violation. Video footage shows white state troopers brutally arresting and beating Greene, including punching, choking, dragging, and stunning him. One trooper can be heard using derogatory language and threatening Greene.
Instead of providing aid after the incident, authorities left Greene shackled in a prone position until he died. The case was initially shrouded in mystery, with police officials claiming that Greene died after his car crashed into a tree.
Five officers were initially indicted on criminal charges in 2022, but only Clary and York will go to trial. Chris Harpen, another officer involved, was charged with two counts of malfeasance for allegedly teasing Greene before his death. The charges against the two other officers have been dismissed.
The decision to drop charges against Clary came after discussions with Greene’s family, with Belton stating that Clary will continue to cooperate with the state and testify truthfully in the matter.
The trial for Master Trooper Kory York, who allegedly forced Greene to lie facedown in handcuffs for nearly 10 minutes, is set to proceed with the charge of negligent homicide. Experts believe this action contributed to Greene’s restricted breathing, leading to his death.
This case stands out due to the rare occurrence of a police officer testifying against a fellow officer in a criminal case involving the death of an innocent Black individual.