The Latest On The JBE-Ronald Greene Mess
WBRZ had another report with more information on the cover-up of the 2019 killing of Ronald Greene by the Louisiana State Police which is calling into question Gov. John Bel Edwards’ viability in office, and we thought we’d pass it along.
A trove of text messages and emails obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit through a public records request show key members of Governor John Bel Edwards’ staff, lawmakers and those at the top of Louisiana State Police were all talking among themselves about the Ronald Greene case as WBRZ stories played on television weekly throughout 2021.
Some messages indicated a need to improve the image of State Police amid growing controversy over how the agency handled Greene’s death years earlier.
The emails are thousands of pages long and show the massive force of the general public writing to the governor expressing outrage that no one had been arrested tied to the Greene case.
Last week, Governor John Bel Edwards held a news conference categorically denying having any involvement in the investigation and lack of criminal charges thus far.
Ronald Greene, a Black motorist in Monroe led State Police on a high-speed chase in May of 2019. After a minor crash, he stopped and exited his car; He was alive and apologizing. Body camera footage showed state troopers from Troop F beating and attacking Greene until he went limp. Greene eventually died. In the hours after Greene’s death, Governor John Bel Edwards was briefed about the case in messages first obtained and reported by the Associated Press.
One particular text exchange involves State Police Colonel Lamar Davis texting Governor John Bel Edwards about a WBRZ Investigative Unit story involving the highest-ranking trooper on scene the night Greene was killed receiving no discipline for lying about his body camera videos. The lie is well documented in investigating reports from the trooper tasked with looking into Greene’s death.
In a long text, Davis wrote State Police knew of “three different and two former LSP employees involved in the investigation…” the text goes on to tell the governor that State Police “attempted to interview both of the former employees… both declined.” The investigation ended: The text message added, “investigators lacked sufficient evidence… and no discipline was delivered.”
The text said the investigators in internal affairs could not sustain the findings that Clary lied. To this day, he’s received no discipline.
The investigating trooper, Albert Paxton, recently resigned. He said he was tired of being pressured into spinning what happened to Greene and how his bosses wanted Greene’s death framed.
“I won’t participate in the cover-up, I won’t hide evidence, and I won’t lie,” Paxton told Louisiana state lawmakers just before Christmas.
Here’s something in the report that we found fascinating.
In one text exchange, then-State Representative Ted James sent Governor John Bel Edwards’ lawyers a text message as the case continued to draw media attention.
James wrote: “I can’t keep ignoring the issue because I like the governor,” James wrote. “This isn’t my last political office… many members of the LLBC (Legislative Black Caucus) are equally sick and tired of being criticized in their districts…waiting on the feds is no longer an option in my opinion.”
James recently resigned his post to take a federal appointment with the Biden administration.
We had theorized that Ted James had more on his mind than just money when he took that cushy gig with the SBA, that perhaps this was a good way for him to sidestep the constituent backlash which was due when the public started to realize the scope of the Ronald Greene cover-up.
And that James was complicit in it because he knew the cover-up was being staged and why, and yet he still backed Edwards both personally and as the head of the Black Caucus.
This isn’t a good look for James. It more or less confirms our theories, not that anyone should be at all surprised.
It’s not surprising, for example, to learn that the political class in the black community is a bunch of cynical failures and sellouts. Here is Ted James sending text messages to Edwards’ minions angry not at the fact the State Police killed Greene, in what was literally the case Black Lives Matter has been waiting for all this time given that unlike Alton Sterling or George Floyd or Daunte Wright this was not a career criminal who was actively putting police in danger at the time of his death, but that helping to cover up the killing was making his constituents mad at him.
It’s the political consequences of selling out that Ted James didn’t like.
Of course, he was ignored. And why shouldn’t he be ignored? For all his griping Ted James never got off Edwards’ bandwagon. He still carried Edwards’ water and engineered the humiliation of House Speaker Clay Schexnayder in last summer’s failed veto override session. Ted James, who we’re told is not some wild-eyed socialist or cultural Marxist revolutionary, still made sure nobody in the Black Caucus voted to override Edwards’ veto of a bill that would ban boys from playing girls’ sports.
That isn’t a position most black people in Louisiana support, you know. Ted James didn’t break with the governor on a position he knew was absurd, even after he knew the public dissatisfaction with what was going on in the Greene case.
Wow. None of this is particularly surprising, but wow.
We keep going back to things Malcolm X said in the mid 1960s before he was assassinated, because they’re incandescently true all these years later. Malcolm X said the black community was a political chump for giving its loyalty to the Democrat Party, and white Democrats in particular, based on all the harm that had come from Democrats.
There’s a famous clip of a speech he made pointing out the absurdity of the NAACP and the Urban League both being headed by white people at the time and wondering exactly what those organizations were supposed to be doing for the black community when they weren’t even led by the black community. He also noted it’s a bit more difficult to develop black leadership when blacks aren’t allowed to lead.
This matters now, because it synchronizes perfectly with the fact the Louisiana Democrat Party is a majority-black organization – 60 percent of its registered voters in this state are black – and Malcolm X’s comments on the nature of majority-black organizations run by white people and their true alignment with the best interests of the black community shine fairly brightly with the Ronald Greene case in mind.
We totally understand why Ted James thought it was a good idea to step away from elected office and into a job with the government bureaucracy. Otherwise it’s some pretty loud music he’d ultimately have to face, with his constituents knowing he’d yoked them to a racist white Democrat regime that prioritized what blacks could do for it (turning out sufficient votes to beat Eddie Rispone in the 2019 governor’s race) over what it could do for them.
That’s a debate the black community has to have, and soon. It’s hardly a secret that the John Bel Edwardses of the world merely run a con game on them and treat them as political chumps, in Malcolm X’s parlance.
Ted James once put a meme on his social media equating Trayvon Martin to Emmett Till, the black teenager murdered in Money, Mississippi in the mid 1950s for flirting with a white woman. It’s a bit ironic that he would have stayed silent when a much closer equivalent to Till came along in Ronald Greene just a few years later.