A renowned attorney and the parents of a recent slain Black man are calling for federal civil rights charges in the death of Ronald Greene.
Greene’s family, joined by civil rights attorney Ben Crump and the parents of Tyre Nichols, called for the U.S. Justice Department, on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, to charge the white officers who fatally assaulted Greene just as they charged the Black officers who fatally injured Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee on Jan. 7, 2023.
“We declare that Tyre Nichols’ tragic killing and the aftermath should be the blueprint going forward in America,” Crump said. “Where you saw in 20 days, those five Black officers who brutally killed Tyre Nichols on video were terminated, charged and arrested for murder because when you have evidence of a crime on video, even Ray Charles can see what happen. It should not take an exhaustive investigation to get some simple justice. Nothing extraordinary just simple justice. However, we know that it was drastically different with Ronald Greene and we’re here to ask America, ‘Why is that?’.”
Nichols was driving home in his neighborhood in southeast Memphis on Jan. 7 when he was pulled over for what the police initially said was reckless driving. The stop escalated into a violent confrontation where Nichols was beaten for roughly three minutes and later hospitalized in critical condition. He died three days later.
The five former Memphis officers, all Black, are currently facing four federal counts: one count for depriving Nichols of his right to be “free from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer,” one count of deliberate indifference to Nichols’ medical needs and a failure to render aide, one count of tampering with evidence in an effort to cover up their crimes, and one count of intentionally omitting material information and providing false and misleading information.
“I’m here with Mona [Hardin] today because right now we’re in this new fraternity where our sons were brutally beaten by police officers that were supposed to protect and serve,” RowVaughn Wells, mother of Nichols, said. “As Ben mentioned, Memphis has set the blueprint for how things should be done. As he said, those five Black officers were charged, terminated and all of this done in 20 days. Now we want to know why… the same thing happened to Ronald Greene and why has those police officers have not been charged. We just don’t understand how one case can so be clear and then the other case is the same but nothing is happening. It just don’t make sense. What’s the difference? They were five Black officers and these were five white officers, so it that the difference?”
Mona Hardin, Greene’s mother, said she was happy that Nichols’ family got justice for his killing. However, after three-and-a-half years, the officers in her son’s killing were “weakly” indicted and justice has yet to be served.
Alana Wilson, Greene’s sister, called for President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris to implore the Department of Justice to file proper charges the five officers in the killing of her brother.
Tamika Mallory, a nationally recognized civil rights activist and community organizer, said since 2019 − the last time she stood with Greene’s family on the steps of the state capitol to call for accountability his killing − the country underwent a pandemic and witnessed the deaths of George Floyd, Amaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, some of which have seen forms of justice.
“It was because of our work, because we didn’t back down and we continue to fight for Breonna Taylor that we have those federal charges but still no convictions,” Mallory said. “But also since 2019, Tyre Nichols happened. I joined Sister Alana [Wilson] in saying, ‘There is a state of emergency in this nation’. In fact, I wrote a book about it. The state of emergency that exists in this nation where Black people are dying and what is happening here in the state of Louisiana and this city, is that they are playing the waiting game. Hoping that we will go away and people will not show up from far to stand with this family. That people will not continue and the family will get too tired and instead, the movement is growing because while they are not doing by Ronald Greene here; unfortunately, other people are dying in other places around this nation. Being killed and so the family continues to grow not because of us. It is growing because of them. Because of the corruption and the fact that they’ve determined that Black lives do not matter.”
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This article originally appeared on Monroe News-Star: Attorney, parents of Tyre Nichols call for charges in Greene killing