Law professor says State Police may have violated federal law in Ronald Greene coverup
BATON ROUGE- An LSU law professor believes the RICO Act could be applicable for some Louisiana State Police (LSP) troopers who are tied to the death of Ronald Greene and the subsequent coverup.
RICO, the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act, was passed in 1970 and is designed to go after organized crime. LSU Professor Ken Levy said in order for RICO to fit, two or more criminal offenses need to have occurred.
In this case, he believes the death of Ronald Greene is one and the subsequent coverup and lies are another.
"All of those lies were designed to cover up the fact that Louisiana State Police murdered Ronald Greene, and everyone of those lies could count as a separate predicate act," Levy said. "Putting them together, it could be a pattern of racketeering."
On Friday, LSP Colonel Lamar Davis held an hour-long news conference where he promised transparency and accountability. He also said he could not weigh in on the federal investigation.
However, he did discuss an administrative investigation his agency conducted showing Lt. John Clary was cleared after the department couldn't prove he lied about his body camera footage. Clary's body camera footage did not come to light until March of this year, nearly two years after Greene's death.
Documents leaked to the WBRZ Investigative Unit following Davis' news conference show Clary told the investigating trooper that he did not have body camera video of the incident and that he only had dash camera footage.
Greene died after a high-speed chase in the Monroe area. He was badly beaten, tased and dragged by the ankles. His death did not come to light until media began asking questions more than a year later. In emails more than a year after Greene's death, State Police leaders were emailing back and forth that Greene's death was caused by a crash.
"Everyone who contributed to the pattern, lied, who tried to cover it up are eligible defendants for a RICO charge," Levy said.
RICO carries stiffer penalties if convicted, including a fine and up to 20 years in prison.
Last week, the WBRZ Investigative Unit exposed that Clary was seen on national television at the LA Tech and Mississippi State football game escorting the team. Clary's own colleagues couldn't believe that he would be on a national stage despite an ongoing federal investigation. When WBRZ inquired about it, he was removed from that detail.
The feds have remained tight-lipped on their investigation. A gag order is in place for those involved in the Ronald Greene case.