She is haunted by body-camera photos of her son Ronald Greene being punched and stunned by Louisiana State Police.
She is still holding on to the cremated remains of her son and vows to never be able to lay him to rest until she receives justice.
Hardin said that "we have to relive it constantly" in an interview with The Associated Press near her Orlando-area residence. They took pleasure in killing him."
Hardin is shocked at the pattern in police misconduct that has emerged since her search began. Greene isn't the only Black motorist who has been abused by Louisiana's top law enforcement agency in recent years. A Associated Press investigation found at least a dozen instances in the past decade where troopers and their bosses failed to disclose evidence of beatings or deflect blame, hindered efforts to root out misconduct. According to the state police, 67% of troopers who used force in recent years were targeting Blacks.
It's been a frustrating struggle. After more than two years of federal investigation, Greene's arrest was still not solved.
Hardin, 70, claims that her numerous trips to Washington, D.C. and Baton Rouge were met with empty promises by officials, institutional wagon-circling, and indifference. Hardin witnessed her son's attackers remain on the job for months. The then-head state police defended Greene's death as "awful but legal" before abruptly retiring. The body camera video was kept secret for two years until the AP published it this spring.
She said that all of this has made her family feel worse and mocked the criminal justice system.
Hardin stated, "In the end you just end up becoming part of a huge nightmare." That was my commitment. "I won't let him down."
On May 10, 2019, just before midnight, Greene, 49 years old was driving near University of Louisiana Monroe when a trooper tried to pull him over because he had committed a traffic violation. An autopsy revealed that Greene had cocaine in his system. He drove away and led troopers on a chase of over 100 mph. The chase ended with troopers chasing Greene's SUV and beating him. They also jolted him with stun guns, leaving him handcuffed and prone for several hours. He pleaded for mercy, and then cried, "I'm your sister!" I'm scared!"
Kory York, a trooper, was seen briefly pulling Greene face down by his ankle shackles on body-camera footage. Chris Hollingsworth struck Greene several times in the head with a flashlight and was later caught on his squad car video boasting that he had "beat the ever-living fo--- out of him".
Hardin, who was hundreds of miles away in central Florida, said that she felt something was wrong with Ronnie.
These fears were confirmed by her daughter calling her in panic early in the morning. She said Greene had been in an accident and hit a tree. Greene was then able to pass through the windshield and died from the impact.
After seeing Greene's deep bruises and the cuts on Greenes head, loved ones arrived at West Monroe hospital.
Hardin didn't initially recognize the shrouded corpse of her son until she was allowed to visit him later at a funeral home. I hugged him and kissed him, and kept repeating "Mama's here!"
Even the emergency room doctor doubted Greene's story of his death. Greene arrived at the hospital bleeding profusely and bruised, with two stun gun prongs still sticking out of his backside.
Greene's family saw the vehicle with minor damage and thought it was unlikely that he had been in a crash. The airbags hadn't even deployed.
Wilson stated, "Everything began to make sense." Wilson said, "This man did not die in a car accident."
Hardin's pain would only get worse over the following months. A flurry of excuses, including the pandemic, added to the uncertainty and lackluster answers from police, state prosecutors, and the FBI's Monroe field office.
Hardin was first to see a ray of light when a Philadelphia civil rights firm agreed to represent her case. Hardin filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit right before the first anniversary of Greene’s death.
Hardin returned to Louisiana in October 2020 for a private family viewing.
She said, "I had to witness my son's last breath." "I felt it."
Hardin claims that Greene will not be fully convicted, regardless of what happens in the Greene case. Hollingsworth was the trooper who hit Greene with a flashlight and died in a single vehicle accident last year, hours after learning that he would be fired. He was buried with all state police honors.
Hardin stated, "They forgot what he did."
Hardin is still grieving the loss of her son. She draws strength from a group of mothers from similar situations, including Ahmaud, who can relate to her days when she feels too sad to get out of bed or run errands in the car.
Hardin stated, "I'll feel heavy and I'll get up."
"I will not fail him. This nightmare can't be walked any other way.