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First on CNN: Louisiana prosecutor in Ronald Greene case gets case file from federal investigators

<i>CNN</i><br/>Third Judicial District Attorney John Belton is seen during the Ronald Greene Committee Meeting in Baton Rouge
Third Judicial District Attorney John Belton is seen during the Ronald Greene Committee Meeting in Baton Rouge

By Nick Valencia, CNN

The local Louisiana district attorney with jurisdiction over the town where Ronald Greene died following an interaction with state troopers said he has now received the federal case file and has begun reviewing their investigative reports.

Third Judicial District Attorney John Belton told CNN that he met with federal investigators, including Brandon Brown and FBI agents, on Thursday for more than two hours and obtained “their investigative reports.” He told CNN he was asked by the federal investigators not to share any of the details with reporters.

“We did talk, we went over certain things I cannot discuss,” Belton told CNN. “We started immediately reviewing the files and going through them. As promised, once we finish our review and interview any additional witnesses that we did not know about initially — we’ve already identified a number of them — we’d like to interview those witnesses before we take anything to the grand jury,” he added.

In April, while testifying before a special committee of the Louisiana State Legislature that is investigating Greene’s 2019 death, Belton said a “criminal act” occurred and plans to “move swiftly” to convene a grand jury. Speaking with CNN after the committee hearing adjourned, Belton reiterated his position, saying, “I have already stated that crimes have been committed.”

Asked when he might be finished reviewing the files and moving forward with a case, Belton said that was a difficult question to answer.

“Timeline is a difficult question to ask because we want to review everything we haven’t been privy to,” he said.

“I’m committed to taking this to a special grand jury as soon as we can,” Belton added.

Earlier this year, Belton said he was asked by the US Attorney’s Office not to proceed with charges while the Department of Justice was investigating Greene’s death for civil rights violations. That changed when Belton said he received a call from the US attorney now handling the case, Brandon Brown, telling him that he could move forward with a local investigation that will take place concurrently with the federal probe.

CNN has reached out to both the US Attorney’s Offices in the Eastern and Western District of Louisiana and the US Department of Justice for a response.

Greene, a 49-year-old Black man, died during the overnight hours of May 10, 2019, after police said he resisted arrest and struggled with officers. His family has said they were told Greene died in a car crash after a police chase.

Video of the incident released two years later showed officers kicking, punching and using a Taser on Greene before he died in their custody, CNN has reported.

Three years since Greene’s death, which one Louisiana State Police member described as “torture and murder,” there have been no arrests or indictments of any of the officers involved.

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