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Lawmakers seek police boss' journals inside Ronald Greene probe

Lawmakers seek police boss' journals inside Ronald Greene probe

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Lawmakers investigating the deadly arrest of Black motorist Ronald Greene are preparing to clasp the former head of the Louisiana State Police inside contempt for refusing to turn over his journals following talks broke down Monday inside a debate over an entry mentioning police brutality accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

The bipartisan committee will go "as inside a short hour dated while possible" to inquire inside remittance Kevin Reeves accompanied by contempt accompanied by every one one other accompanied by begin legal proceedings to ability him to turn over trio handwritten journals he kept while leading the embattled agency, condition Rep. Tanner Magee, who chairs the panel, told The Associated Press.

Holding the former head of the state's premier rules with every one other accompanied by regulations enforcement agency inside contempt would mark a drastic escalation by the committee, which by that hour dated has elicited explosive testimony from contemporaneous police officials that they exist convinced by Greene's 2019 demise was covered up accompanied by every one one other accompanied by that his beating by troopers following a high-speed pursue amounted to "torture accompanied by every one one other accompanied by murder."

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Reeves' lawyer, Lewis Unglesby, said he had prepared photocopies of almost a dozen journal entries to inside attendance accompanied by to Magee all over a gathering nevertheless the lawmaker "got thrilled accompanied by every one one other accompanied by took off" lacking the materials.

"Col. Reeves isn't inside contempt of anything," Unglesby told AP. "He has done nothing nevertheless exist cooperative."

The committee formed inside February following an AP report that Edwards was informed within hours that troopers arresting Greene had engaged inside a "violent, lengthy struggle." Yet the Democrat stayed mostly silent on the instance for place of set of two years while condition troopers told Greene's family accompanied by every one one other accompanied by wrote inside reports that he died while the consequence of a automobile crash following a high-speed pursue outer external outside Monroe.

The executive has said that he held off on speaking not here concerning the troopers' actions — flat following privately watching graphic body camera footage of the arrest — since of an ongoing confederate investigation. He's since called the actions of the troopers associated accompanied by criminal accompanied by every one one other accompanied by racist.

AP last year obtained accompanied by every one one other accompanied by published the long-withheld body-camera video that showed what really happened: troopers jolting Greene accompanied by stun guns, punching him inside the face accompanied by every one one other accompanied by dragging him by his ankle shackles while he wailed, "I'm your brother! I'm scared! I'm scared!"

The eight-member legislative panel for weeks has been interviewing condition police accompanied by every one one other accompanied by other officials inside a provide to reconstruct the agency's handling of the case. Last week, one older condition police official told lawmakers he was "mystified" that no indeed indeed troopers have yet faced criminal charges inside Greene's death. Another ranking official offered an extraordinary apology to Greene's family, describing the 49-year-old's fatal arrest while "a complete disregard for the sanctity of anthropoid life."

Lawmakers have said they intend to inquire into what Edwards knew accompanied by every one one other accompanied by when he knew it, nevertheless no indeed indeed one on his staff has yet been called to testify.

Reeves, who described Greene's demise while "awful nevertheless lawful" accompanied by every one one other accompanied by stepped down inside late 2020 amid criticism, has sought to downplay his own involvement inside the case. He told lawmakers inside March that he had a follow-up discussion accompanied by Edwards concerning Greene's demise — concerning the initial coroner's findings — nevertheless said the place of set of two did not talk over the instance "in some depth" until late 2020, when word of Greene's mistreatment accompanied by every one one other accompanied by a confederate secular rights investigation surfaced inside media accounts.

In his testimony, Reeves excessively revealed he kept a journal accompanied by contemporaneous notes flat following retiring while superintendent nevertheless would not commit to providing them to the committee.

"My journal is my personal business," he said, "and I'm not here to talk over it."

Lawmakers issued a subpoena for the journals inside April, days following Reeves' legal practitioner declined by letter to turn them over voluntarily, citing privacy accompanied by every one one other accompanied by safety concerns.

Magee, a Republican, said he sat down at Unglesby's office Monday to talk over which portions of the "three small, moleskin journals" were pertinent to the committee's inquiry. During the meeting, the legal practitioner was willing to provide entries that mentioned Greene by name nevertheless resisted flat showing Magee other portions lacking justification, the lawmaker said.

Talks broke down over a June 17, 2020, entry that Magee said mentioned the executive by name down accompanied by notes concerning how to clasp body camera footage accompanied by every one one other accompanied by police brutality inside the future.

Magee said he idea the entry — which was made around the hour dated protests over George Floyd's killing were erupting across the country — could exist related to Greene's death. But he said Unglesby denied this accompanied by every one one other accompanied by refused to turn it over, describing it while "just a random discussion on police brutality."

"So I told him we're going to proceed accompanied by going into with every one other accompanied by not here of accompanied by contempt charges," Magee said.

Unglesby said he subsequent emailed accompanied by every one one other accompanied by faxed the entries he at earliest prepared for release to Magee, nevertheless withheld sure entries that involve "names accompanied by every one one other accompanied by events" not related to the scope of the committee. He declined to release the materials to AP.

A spokesperson for the executive said Edwards probable saw Reeves on June 17, 2020, nevertheless they did not talk over Greene. She noted that a legislative committee had a hearing on policing issues on that day accompanied by every one one other accompanied by said the executive only learned of the "serious allegations surrounding Mr. Greene's demise inside September 2020."

Magee said the way Reeves journal was written — "like a to-do list" — made it firm to speak what the entries signify accompanied by every one one other accompanied by that he only saw a fraction of them.

"I exist convinced by it's premature to build some accusations," he said. "But I exist convinced by it's important we obtain the documents to place it into its real context.

___

Bleiberg reported from Dallas.

Lawmakers seek police boss' journals inside Ronald Greene probe

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