Archive for May, 2021

More Belton/LSP Inconsistencies

05/30/2021

After dissecting the conversation Thursday between Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney John F. K. Belton and Greene family attorney Lee Merritt – as reported by The (Baton Rouge) Advocate – we note this comment:

The prosecutor said his office had only recently received the complete investigative file from State Police, and was going over the evidence with the intent of presenting it to a state grand jury, Merritt said.

Wait a minute. Didn’t the Louisiana State Police claim last Friday that Belton received the file in August, 2019, and that a couple of weeks later said nothing further was needed?

From KNOE-TV8:

08/20/19 – CID-Monroe submits case to the Lincoln Parish DA

09/09/19 – CID-Monroe follows up with DA, nothing further needed

The next day, The Advocate drops this tidbit:

Belton called East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore for advice soon after Greene’s death, Moore said.

So Louisiana Taxpayers pay Belton over $200 thousand/year (2019 audit, pg 48), and who is granted full constitutional authority of “original jurisdiction” in all criminal matters, and he has to seek advice from another DA?

Eleven days ago, Belton said:

“Ethically, I am prevented from making any extrajudicial comments while this matter is under investigation.”

But Friday, he’s merrily blabbing away to the local daily:

“I indicated to them I’m going to wait on the independent investigation to be completed by the (federal) Department of Justice and additional evidence before I consider presenting anything to a grand jury,” Belton said Friday.

Today, The Shreveport Times’ Prentiss Smith said it thus:

“The question still remains, what did District Attorney John Belton know, and when did he know it? And if he did know about it, why didn’t he do something about it, and if he didn’t know about it, why didn’t he know about it, as the highest law-enforcement officer in the parish? This is his jurisdiction, and he should be doing everything he can to get to the truth.”

One last thing. How come the Louisiana State Police gets to investigate itself? Fiscal audits of all Louisiana governmental entities are conducted by independent financial professionals. And those are for mere money.

Shouldn’t investigations of potential criminal wrongdoing be done by an agency other than those suspected of the wrongdoing?

Greene Family Attorney: LSP, Belton still Dragging their Feet

05/27/2021

From The (Baton Rouge) Advocate – Thursday, May 27, 2021

Greene Family Attorney S. Lee Merritt:

Merritt said he met with John Belton, the district attorney whose jurisdiction includes Union and Lincoln Parishes, earlier Thursday. Merritt said the prosecutor indicated arrest warrants would have to come from State Police themselves because the agency had not turned over the complete file to his office. 

“We asked Mr. Belton quite frankly and quite directly: Was he ready for a judge to sign a warrant for the arrests of the men involved in the crimes?” Merritt said. “He indicated that the state police had still not turned over a complete file and that the State Police would be required to make an arrest. We simply reject that.”

3rd JDDA “…no materials responsive to your request.”

05/27/2021

Earlier in the week, Lincoln Parish News Online asked the Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney for correspondence or call logs that might confirm DA John Belton’s claim that he contacted the DOJ/FBI immediately upon receipt of the Ronald Greene case file from the Louisiana State Police.

Yesterday afternoon First Assistant District Attorney Laurie Whitten James wrote:

The Office of District Attorney has received your Public Records Request dated May 23, 2021, in which you request to inspect and/or copy “any correspondence or call logs between the Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney and the United States Department of Justice or the Federal Bureau of Investigation on or about 8/20/19 regarding the above noted case.” 

The Office of District Attorney has no such correspondence and the Office of District Attorney does not keep call logs; therefore, we have no materials responsive to your request. 

If I can assist you with anything further, please don’t hesitate to call me at the office or email me.

See here the email.

Long-time LSP Monitor Has Comprehensive Ronald Greene Coverage

05/25/2021

A Baton Rouge based newsblogger – Sound Off Louisiana – has been one of the most effective monitors of all things Louisiana State Police (LSP) for several years. You’ll want to read his story from yesterday, which ties recent developments into his previous comprehensive reporting on the Ronald Greene case.

LSP’s release of Greene videos provides answers to many previously-unanswered questions, especially when consolidating into single video as we’ve done at Sound Off Louisiana

Sound Off Louisiana’s founder – Robert Burns – is a former federal fraud examiner.

LSP Responds to Records Request

05/25/2021

Wrote Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs Faye Morrison:

Your above referenced public records request has been forwarded to me for consideration and reply. Please be advised that we have begun the process of searching for documents responsive to your above referenced request.

Even though the search is ongoing, and documents of the agency are considered public records, the agency will avail itself of any statutory provisions which either exempts or prohibits production of documents responsive to your request. These exemptions specifically include, but are not limited to, those contained in R.S. 44:3 and R.S. 44:4. The agency will also not release information which may be exempt from release due to an individual’s right to privacy.

In accordance with R.S. 44:35(A), you are hereby notified that the estimated time reasonably necessary for collection, review, and necessary redaction of the documents which may be responsive to your request is sixty (60) days.

One the responsive documents are ready for your review, you will be notified in order to arrange a date and time to view the documents. If you prefer to receive copies of the documents, you will be notified of the cost associated with copying the documents.

See here the document.

AP: Belton didn’t know about Clary Video

05/25/2021

Yesterday, The Associated Press’ Jim Mustian wrote:

Union Parish District Attorney John Belton, who is pursuing a state investigation of the troopers’ actions, told the AP he only became aware of Clary’s footage recently.

After two years, Belton didn’t know about a key piece of evidence in a case he was in charge of?

Public Records Requests Filed for Proof of Statements

05/24/2021

Lincoln Parish News Online filed two public records requests yesterday asking for proof of statements made last week by the commander of the Louisiana State Police and by the Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney regarding the Ronald Greene case.

It has become quite clear that nothing said by anyone connected to this case can be relied upon. After twelve years of covering government and its people, we’ve learned that “If it ain’t in writing, it didn’t happen.”

We requested from the Louisiana State Police documentation proving the delivery of case files and receipt thereof from the agencies as was claimed last Friday by Louisiana State Police Col. Lamar Davis. We understand that it is LSP procedure to require a signed and dated receipt whenever case files are submitted.

From Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney John Belton’s office, we requested a call log or any correspondence that would verify his allegation last week that he asked the U. S. Department of Justice or the FBI to intervene in the Greene case “…on the day I received the report…”

There is a six-month gap between when Belton said he contacted the FBI and when Davis alleges files were delivered to the FBI.

Here are our requests:

Louisiana State Police Public Records Request

Third Judicial District Attorney Public Records Request

We will report what we learn from the agencies promptly.

If they try stonewalling again, we’ll report that, too.

Amended Lawsuit Filed Thurs, 5/20/21 in Ronald Greene Wrongful Death Civil Case

05/22/2021

An amended complaint in the civil lawsuit alleging the wrongful death of Ronald Greene was filed this past Thursday in US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

The original lawsuit was filed in May, 2020, a year after the incident that occurred in Union Parish near the Crossroads community.

The amended complaint adds some defendants, and also adds some new language to the facts pleading section of the lawsuit, based upon new information from bodycam videos and the autopsy.

Here is the original lawsuit.

Here is the amended complaint.

Until the original lawsuit was filed, the public knew only what the Louisiana State Police claimed was Greene’s cause of death – a car crash.

Incredible as it may seem here in the Twenty-First Century, several local, state and federal governmental agencies – Louisiana State Police, Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney, Union Parish Sheriff’s Office, Union Parish Coronor, FBI, and Rocky Branch Fire District – were able to construct a coverup and maintain Omerta for a solid year.

Belton/LSP/FBI Timelines don’t Match

05/22/2021

Late yesterday Lamar Davis, commander of the Louisiana State Police issued a timeline of their investigation of the Ronald Greene homicide case.

Davis alleges the following:

  • 05/10/19 – CID-Monroe immediately commences investigation
  • 08/20/19 – CID-Monroe submits case to the Lincoln Parish DA
  • 09/09/19 – CID-Monroe follows up with DA, nothing further needed
  • 02/20/20 – CID-Monroe provides case file to DOJ/FBI

However, Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney claimed in his Wednesday, 5/19/21 statement:

“…on the day I received the report from the Louisiana State Police, I asked the United States Department of Justice to conduct an independent review of the circumstances surrounding his death, including whether any criminal or civil rights violations occurred.”

Looks like we are going to have to see the paper trail of signed receipts for the case files to determine who is telling the truth.

Union Parish Sheriff’s Office Report on Greene Homicide

05/22/2021

Last year when the Ronald Greene homicide case first became public, we suspected a massive and co-ordinated coverup among several government agencies was underway to conceal both the manner of death and the people involved in the incident.

Our suspicions appear to have been accurate.

Acting upon those suspicions, we executed several public records request, one of which was to the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office for any reports it may have generated relative to the incident. After several months, we received a response.

Our request was made on 9/14/2020, and the response is dated 02/23/2021.

It consists of a call sheet, a log of personnel involved, and a narrative by Union Parish Sheriff’s Office (UPSO) Deputy Chris Harpin. His narrative reads as follows:

On Friday May 10, 2019 at approximately 0022 hours I, Dy. Chris Harpin, was advised by dispatch that LSP was in pursuit of a northbound vehicle on Hwy. 143, in Ouachita Parish, and they were asking for assistance. I then went towards the intersection of Hwy. 2 and Hwy. 143 at Crossroads.

I asked dispatch to notify Pafford Ambulance Service, so they would be on standby, in case the pursued vehicle wrecked. Prior to my arrival, dispatch advised me the vehicle wrecked and that the Troopers in pursuit could not be reached by radio. Then, dispatch advised that the Troopers were calling for more units. Upon arrival, I observed two LSP units and a small, silver SUV on Crossroads Loop. As I approached on foot, I saw the two Troopers in between their cars, on the ground, with a unidentified B/M. The Troopers were asking the B/M to give them his right hand so they could handcuff him. The Troopers asked me to help them get him handcuffed as the B/M was actively resisting them and not complying with their verbal commands. TheTroopers already had the B/M’s left hand in a handcuff, but he was trying to roll on his left side and pull it under his body. The B/M was lying face down on the ground and had his right arm tucked under his upper body with his right hand near his head. I reached under the B/M’s body, trapped his right wrist with both of my hands and pulled his arm down, towards his belt. I then straitened the arm out and pulled his hand up and behind his back. One of the Troopers was then able to handcuff the right hand. The B/M was breathing and grunting as he pulled against the handcuffs.

I then advised dispatch that we had one person in custody and definitely needed medical assistance. The B/M was bleeding from a head wound. More Troopers arrived shortly after getting the B/M handcuffed. Rocky Branch Fire arrived shortly after the back up Troopers and started medical treatment. Pafford arrived approximately 10 minutes after RBFD. The B/M was loaded into the Pafford Ambulance and transported to Glenwood Hospital. We were advised, while still at the scene, that the B/M had died while en route to Glenwood.

LSP advised that they would be sending Detectives to the scene. I helped MT Kory York take measurements of the scene while waiting for the Detectives. At this time I was advised that the B/M’s name was Ronald Allan Greene (B/M, DOB 9/28/1969). Upon the Detectives arrival, I was asked to give a statement of my participation in the incident, which I did. The silver SUV that Greene was driving was removed by Brick’s Towing and taken to Troop F for further examination.

Nothing further.
Dy. Chris Harpin 301

Here is the complete document.

Two other UPSO Deputies were on scene, according to the report – Cade Mobley and Cade Nolan.