Following the dismissal of obstruction of justice charges for Lieutenant John Clary related to traffic stop and ultimate death of Ronald Green, attorney Kyle Green sat down with the LPJ to answer questions about Lt. Clary’s case and provide specific evidence in regards to the dropped charges.
LPJ: Thank you for meeting with us. I know we asked you originally about meeting with Lt. Clary. Can you explain to us why you feel that at this time it’s best that you answer our questions?
Kyle Green: Sure. Lt. Clary was suspended without pay by the Louisiana State Police on December 16th of 2022. And to this day, he remains suspended without pay. So Lt. Clary has still has a few hurdles he has overcome. And I don’t think it’s appropriate for him to talk at this point in time.
LPJ: Can you explain exactly what Lt. Clary was charged with?
KG: On December 15, 2022, he was indicted on two counts. The first count was malfeasance in office, and the second count was obstruction of justice. The first charge, malfeasance in office was dismissed by the court in July of 2023, and which left the charge of obstruction of justice, which was dismissed this week.
LPJ: Was Ronald Greene in custody when Lt. Clary arrived at the scene? Did Lt. Clary touch Ronald Greene?
KG: Lt. Clary arrived at the scene of the crash after Mr. Greene was already in custody. Lt. Clary was on the scene only eight minutes from the time of his arrival until paramedics arrived to administer medical services and treatment to Mr. Greene. Lt. Clary never touched Mr. Greene nor witnessed any abuse by other officers during the short time he was on the scene. After Lt. Clary completed his work at the scene of crash, he returned to Louisiana State Police, Troop F headquarters.
LPJ: What did Lt. Clary do after he learned of Mr. Greene’s death?
KG: Lt. Clary immediately contacted Captain John Peters to let him know that there had been an in custody death and then called investigators with the Louisiana State Police to begin their investigation.
LPJ: Did Lt. Clary properly upload his videos, both fleet and body camera videos, into the Louisiana State Police System in the early morning hours of May 10, 2019? Did he properly label/title the videos?
KG: As soon as Lt. Clary arrived at Troop F headquarters, he uploaded both his body cam videos and his vehicle videos to Evidence.Com, which is the repository maintained by the Louisiana State Police for video evidence. Axon is the software provider that captures the body cam video and the vehicle video. The Axon Audit Trail (see attached PDF) shows that Lt. Clary uploaded his body cam video and vehicle video at 4:36 a.m. on May 10, 2019.
Once Lt. Clary’s body cam video and vehicle video were uploaded into the Louisiana State Police system, it could not be destroyed, deleted, or otherwise altered. Lt. Clary not only properly uploaded the body cam videos and the vehicle videos, but he also properly labeled the videos in the system as “Pursuit-Ouachita and Union” so they could be easily located.
LPJ: Did Lt. Clary provide investigators with his access to the Axon system so that investigators could download all the videos in the early morning hours of May 10, 2019? Were Lt. Clary’s videos actually downloaded and provided to LSP investigators?
KG: Yes and yes. An investigator downloaded the videos to a thumb drive and handed it to another investigator.
LPJ: Does the Axon Audit Trail show:
a. Lt. Clary’s upload of all the videos?
b. Lt. Clary’s labeling of all the videos?
c. The download of all the videos?
KG: Lt. Clary provided investigators with access to the Axon system so that investigators could download ALL videos of all Troopers who were involved in the pursuit and who had arrived at the scene of the crash. An investigator with Louisiana State Police downloaded all videos onto a thumb drive and handed the thumb drive to another investigator, who, at that time, worked in Louisiana State Police Investigations. The whereabouts of the original thumb drive is unknown, but the Axon Audit Trail of Lt. Clary clearly shows that the Clary videos were downloaded at 5:18 a.m. on May 10, 2019. This download time corresponds with other individuals’ statements that the videos were downloaded to the now “lost” thumb drive given to the Investigator.
The false narrative of Lt. Clary “hiding” or “failing to disclose” the body cam video and/or the vehicle video has been perpetuated by the media and others, despite the evidence in the suit record being clearly to the contrary. The Axon Audit Trail is in the criminal suit record in Union Parish.
LPJ: Does the Axon system prevent deletion, destruction, manipulation or alteration of the videos?
KG: Videos in the Axon system cannot be deleted, destroyed, manipulated or altered.
LPJ: If the Axon Audit Trail supports what you’ve told us, then why do you think there is a false narrative that Lt. Clary “hid” or “failed to disclose” his videos?
KG: The false narrative sells newspapers and gets clicks online.
LPJ: Have others within the State Police accessed Lt. Clary’s videos or downloaded them?
KG: The Axon Audit Trail speaks for itself and shows who accessed the video, the date the video was accessed and the time the video was accessed. But to be direct, people within Louisiana State Police were actively looking at Lt. Clary’s videos while the false narrative was being perpetuated in the media.
LPJ: Did Lt. Clary voluntarily talk to LSP Internal Affairs, the FBI and Prosecutors with the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office?
KG: Lt. Clary has been forthcoming from the inception of this matter. After all, you can’t forget that he is the one who contacted investigators and began the investigation as there had been an in custody death. Calling investigators is standard operating procedures when there is an in custody death. Lt. Clary freely spoke with investigators on the evening that he contacted them. Lt. Clary freely provided investigators with access to the Axon credentials. Lt. Clary freely spoke with internal affairs. Lt. Clary freely spoke with agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Lt. Clary freely spoke with the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office prior to his indictment and has spoken with them since his indictment. His story hasn’t changed. Go look it up, its in the suit record.
LPJ: Did Lt. Clary cut a deal to get the charge against him dropped?
KG: There is not an immunity agreement. Look, people think that handling a criminal case is like an episode of Law and Order or Suits. That is simply not the case. Fundamental fairness requires that Defendants in criminal matters be afforded that information which forms the basis of the charge and any exculpatory evidence.
Since 1998, I have never had a client who entered into an immunity agreement. John’s charges are dismissed. If he receives a subpoena to testify, he will fully comply with the subpoena and provide truthful testimony that is consistent with what he has previously said before.
LPJ: What is next for Lt. Clary?
KG: I have personally been in touch with Louisiana State Police and informed them that Lt. Clary is ready, able and willing to return to work at this point in time.
LPJ: Thank you for your time.