La. GOP leader weighs the consequences of gov's "gross misconduct"

Louisiana's top GOP lawmaker considered taking legislative action against Gov. John Bel Edwards was charged with "gross misconduct" and "highest level of deceit" for his response to Ronald Greene's 2019 death.

La. GOP leader weighs the consequences of gov's "gross misconduct"

Clay Schexnayder, House Speaker, made these comments following an Associated Press report that indicated that the Democratic governor was told within hours that troopers were arresting Greene in a "violent and lengthy struggle." However, he remained silent for over two years as the state police presented a different story to the victim's family. They claimed that Greene was killed in a crash that occurred after a high speed chase.

These revelations have brought together a unique coalition of Republican officials and Black activists to demand answers from the governor.

Schexnayder stated in a statement that "this would demonstrate gross misconduct, the highest level of deceit for the governor and other officials." "What happened to Ronald Greene was inexcusable, and should never have happened to anyone," Schexnayder said. His family and citizens deserve the truth.

Schexnayder said that he met with the Republican senator president and attorney general of the state. He did not give details on the options, but stated that "we are fully ready to use the authority given us by the constitution of the state."

Edwards' office didn't immediately respond to a request to comment on Schexnayder’s statement. His spokesperson previously refused to comment on the steps that Edwards took, if any. He stated that the governor did not immediately take any action after receiving the text regarding Greene's arrest.

Edwards was in the midst a tight reelection campaign at Greene's time. He remained publically tight-lipped until last May, when the AP obtained long-held body-camera footage and published it. It showed what really happened: White troopers jolting Greene using stun guns, punching his face, and dragging him by the ankle shackles while he pleaded for mercy. I'm scared! I'm scared!"

Edwards was moved by the video to speak out against the troopers and later called them "criminal". But the governor, who is a long-standing law enforcement officer, also reiterated the crash theory and downplayed trooper's actions. According to the AP, he allegedly argued against Schexnayder’s suggestion for a legislative inquiry into Greene's arrest last June, telling him that he had "died in a crash" and there wasn't need.

The Republican legislators are contemplating action amid a federal civil rights investigation into the fatal encounter. They also want to know if police brass hindered justice in order to protect Greene's troopers.

Mona Hardin, Greene's mother, called for Edwards' resignation, claiming that Edwards chose political expedience over justice when a man's life was ended.

Hardin stated to AP that he needed to leave. He was able to remain silent and stand by as the events unfolded. That's shameful. ... "I hate the fact that I have been lied too."

Officials from the Louisiana NAACP issued a statement describing the AP revelations as "deeply concerning."

"The NAACP believes that this is a serious indication of the need for our governor's transparency with our great state. The statement stated that we feel our governor has "simply missed the mark" so far. "Governor, when did you discover the truth?"

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