Colonel Davis said on Thursday that the case had already spurred “fundamental improvements to our operations, training and administration” inside the state police.
The case reached the grand jury in November, brought by John Belton, the district attorney for Union Parish. Mr. Belton had said that federal prosecutors did not object to him moving forward with the case.
“This is a victory, and we’re going to take it — and we’re grateful for it,” Meghan Matt, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, said at the news conference on Thursday, standing beside Ms. Hardin and other relatives. “But we will continue our relentless pursuit of accountability for these officers and everyone that was implicated in these crimes.”
Yet Ms. Matt said that Mr. Greene’s death left a painful void in his family, one that was particularly pronounced as Christmas approached. Mr. Greene, a barber, was on his way to meet his wife in Florida when the police pulled him over. And he reportedly had gone into remission after fighting cancer for two years.
“For three and a half years, this has been their life,” Ron Haley, a lawyer for the family, said of the persistent effort to “make sure that their son, their brother, their father, their cousin, their nephew, their friend, received justice.”
C. Denise Marcelle, a state lawmaker, praised the charges but also said that the blame extended beyond those officers. “I don’t want to stop at the five,” she said at the news conference.
“I want us to get to the root of everybody who played a part in this cover-up,” said Ms. Marcelle, a Democrat from Baton Rouge serving on the special committee investigating Mr. Greene’s death. “We’ve got to dive into this thing and clean house.”