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Mother of Ronald Greene 'hurting so bad' after release of police video

He died after state troopers violently restrained him, but officials initially said he died on impact from hitting a tree.

The mother of Ronald Greene, a barber who died after a violent confrontation with Louisiana State Police, said Saturday that the release of body camera video of her son's arrest has left her "hurting so bad."

The Associated Press on Wednesday published edited body camera footage from Greene's arrest on May 10, 2019, following a pursuit that may have started with Greene driving erratically, including allegedly running a red light, according to audio from the video.

Louisiana State Police Supt. Lamar A. Davis on Friday officially released nine body camera and dash camera videos of Greene's arrest outside Monroe, Louisiana.

Mona Hardin, the mother of Greene, 49, said in an interview Saturday with NBC News that seeing the video was painful. Before this week's public release of video, she had viewed some body camera footage "in a very controlled environment," said her attorney, Lee Merritt.

"I'm so damn hurt," she said. "I'm hurting so bad. I broke down not too long ago. And I needed that. I needed that because the anger, the boiling point of Louisiana and the corruption and my murder, the murder of my son, and how they had a good time doing it."

Mona Hardin, the mother of Ronald Greene, at a news conference outside the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge last year.
Mona Hardin, the mother of Ronald Greene, at a news conference outside the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge last year.Dorthy Ray / AP file

Troopers initially told Greene’s family he died on impact after crashing into a tree. Later last year, they released a one-page statement acknowledging only that Greene struggled with troopers and died on his way to a hospital.

The video from Wednesday and Friday shows a trooper wrestling Greene to the ground, putting him in a chokehold and punching him in the face.

Greene shouted, "I’m sorry!" as another trooper delivered shocks to him with a taser. The video released Friday appeared to record Greene saying, "Help." At least six troopers were present during the arrest.

Two troopers involved were scheduled to be fired, the agency said. One of them, Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth, died Sept. 22 in a single-vehicle highway crash hours after learning he would lose his job.

Trooper Dakota DeMoss was notified of the department’s intent to terminate him, officials said Friday. Trooper Kory York served a 50-hour suspension, they said. Attempts to reach DeMoss and York were unsuccessful Saturday.

Video released Friday showed that Hollingsworth made a speakerphone call in his police vehicle after Greene's arrest.

"Well, this guy was drunk, and I think he was wet," he said. "I beat the ever-living f--- out of him. Choked him and everything else trying to get him under control.

The arrest is under federal investigation.

An autopsy identified Greene's cause of death as “cocaine-induced agitated delirium complicated by motor vehicle collision, physical struggle, inflicted head injury and restraint," according to the AP.

"Agitated" or "excited" delirium are not accepted as medical conditions by the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association.

On Friday, Supt. Davis said: "You have my commitment that we will follow the facts and hold our personnel accountable."

But Hardin said she has been waiting for two years for that accountability.

"I don't know how you can whitewash the murder of my son with words with empty promises that will take years to even happen," she said.

The revelation in the video proving her son was the victim of violence, however, had her "thrilled beyond words."

"The public needs to know this, whatever it takes to get this out, it needs to be out there," she said.

The video also haunted her.

"I had to really mute it, walk away," she said. "I can't ... I can't ... the screams of my son. I'll never get out of my head."

The troopers involved, Hardin said, "need to pay the price."

"They took too much enjoyment out of killing my son," she said.