News18»World
2-MIN READ

Trooper Quietly Buried Amid Scrutiny Over Black Man's Death

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2020 file photo, family members of Ronald Greene listen to speakers as demonstrators gather for the March on Washington, in Washington, on the 57th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2020 file photo, family members of Ronald Greene listen to speakers as demonstrators gather for the March on Washington, in Washington, on the 57th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech. Officials told The Associated Press, federal authorities are investigating the death of Greene during what Louisiana State Police described as a struggle to take him into custody following a rural police chase last year. The death of the 49-year-old remains shrouded in secrecy because State Police have declined to release body-camera footage related to the May 2019 chase north of Monroe, La. (Michael M. Santiago/Pool via AP)

A Louisiana state trooper killed in a car crash hours after he was told he would be fired for his role in the death of a Black man was buried with honors Friday at a ceremony that authorities sought to keep secret out of concerns it would attract a mass protest.

WEST MONROE, La.: A Louisiana state trooper killed in a car crash hours after he was told he would be fired for his role in the death of a Black man was buried with honors Friday at a ceremony that authorities sought to keep secret out of concerns it would attract a mass protest.

State Police officials and family members mourned Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth under tight security at services that marked the latest turn in the long-simmering in-custody death case of Ronald Greene, which has prompted a federal civil-rights probe and increasing calls for authorities to release body-camera video.

Hollingsworth was the only one of six troopers placed on leave earlier this month in the May 2019 death of Greene following a high-speed chase. Police initially told Greenes family he died from injuries in a crash but later acknowledged troopers struggled with him during the arrest. Greenes family has filed a federal wrongful-death suit alleging troopers brutalized him, shocked him three times with a stun gun and left him beaten, bloodied and in cardiac arrest.

Hollingsworth died Tuesday from injuries suffered in a single-car highway crash in Monroe that came just hours after he received a letter informing him that State Police intended to fire him over his role in Greene’s death.

State police have refused to release that letter or any details of how the highway crash occurred. And despite mounting pressure, the agency has repeatedly refused to release body camera footage from Greene’s arrest, citing the ongoing state and federal investigations.

On Friday, mourners packed the New Chapel Hill Baptist Church where Hollingsworth had been a member, filling its parking lots to capacity on a misty and overcast day.

The services were closed to the public despite a major police presence that included contingency plans for snipers, drones and a SWAT team to respond to any large disturbance, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the plans who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

The plans underscored the growing unrest in communities around the country where demonstrators have taken to the streets to protest racial injustice and the killing of Black people by police.

While no protests materialized around the funeral, activists planned a march to the Governor’s Mansion later Friday in Baton Rouge for all those affected by violence or death at the hands of law enforcement officers.

Gov. John Bel Edwards was not in attendance at Fridays ceremony, which included a State Police honor guard and escort for Hollingsworth, who served nearly three decades in law enforcement.

Unlike other trooper deaths, Hollingsworths was not announced internally by the agencys superintendent, Col. Kevin Reeves.

The Hollingsworth family has elected to have a private ceremony for family and friends and asks for privacy at this time, said Lt. Nick Manale, a State Police spokesman. Retired departmental personnel and active duty troopers who pass away in a non-line-of-duty death are afforded Honor Guard representation based on the requests of the family.

An online fundraiser for the troopers family said Hollingsworth would be remembered for his quick, contagious smile and his dedication to his schoolteacher wife of 21 years and their teenage son.

__

Mustian reported from New York

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


Next Story
Loading...