Panel Investigates Police Unit For Potentially Targeting Black Drivers In Violent Arrests: Report

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A secret panel has opened an investigation into a Louisiana State Police unit for potentially targeting black drivers in violent and sometimes deadly arrests, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

The anonymous panel was formed after Louisiana state troopers stunned and hit Ronald Greene during a 2019 arrest that led to his death, according to the AP. The panel will look into multiple incidents, including one where officers hit, stunned and pulled a black man by his braids. Other incidents being reviewed include when officers beat a man who was handcuffed and another scenario when a man was hit 18 times with a flashlight.

“Every time I told him to stop he’d hit me again,” Aaron Bowman said, the AP reported. He sustained a broken jaw, three broken ribs, a broken wrist and needed six staples for a cut on his head.

“I don’t want to see this happen to nobody — not to my worst enemy,” Bowman said, according to the AP.

The panel was confirmed by four people familiar with its creation and members began reviewing dozens of white officer’s body-worn camera video a few weeks ago, the AP reported. At least four of the troopers under review of the panel were involved in Greene’s arrest.

“You’d be naïve to think it’s limited to two or three instances. That’s why you’re seeing this audit, which is a substantial undertaking by any agency,” former prosecutor and Metropolitan Crime Commission President Rafael Goyeneche said, the AP reported. “They’ve got to identify these people and remove them from the organization.”

The review is centered around the 66-officer Louisiana State Police Troop F where some officers have faced federal charges for alleged brutality, according to the AP. The panel is analyzing the body camera footage for use of excessive force, a racial bias in enforcement and whether they took measures to conceal evidence of wrongdoing.

It’s unclear whether the panel is on a deadline or if it will expand its review, the AP reported. (RELATED: Black Man Beaten, Dragged By Officers Who Initially Claimed He Died After Crashing Into Tree)

Greene died on May 10, 2019 after officers repeatedly shocked him, placed him in a chokehold, hit him in the head and dragged him by the ankles, body camera footage obtained by the AP shows. Officers told Greene’s family he died in a crash following a police chase and withheld video evidence of the incident for over two years.

In the video, Greene apologizes to the officers and tells them he’s scared, according to the AP. No officers were charged in relation to the incident. One trooper was suspended without pay for 50 hours and another who bragged about hitting Greene was notified of his termination shortly before he died in a car accident.

Greene’s arrest is the only incident with Troop F that led to death, though officers involved in some of the other instances of alleged brutality were charged with felonies, the AP reported. Officials have not publicly released body camera footage of the other incidents.

Louisiana State Police did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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