Appeals court upholds ruling against Baton Rouge, ex-BRPD cop

Appeals court upholds ruling against Baton Rouge, ex-cop

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed all rulings from a civil case involving an ex-Baton Rouge cop accused of using excessive force.

In 2007 then-officer Nathan Davis arrested Brain Townsend. By Townsend's account, he was tackled, pepper sprayed and kicked by Davis which resulted in his bladder rupturing.

In the trial that followed, a jury found that Davis had used excessive force. While they did not find enough proof that Townsend was ever kicked, Davis was sentenced to six and a half years in prison.

Townsend sued the city and was awarded $239,000 dollars. Both sides appealed.

"It's been dragging on a long time," said Henri Saunders, Townsend's Attorney.

Saunders says they are pleased that the jury's decisions were upheld, but they hoped other punitive damages would be considered as well.

"He was disappointed that the jury didn't specifically find that the police officer kicked him, but they did award damages for his ruptured bladder," said Saunders.

Davis's attorney, Henry Olinde, also agreed in part with the affirmations, specifically that Davis did not kick Townsend.

"Nathan's always been very clear and very passionate about the statement that he made that he never kicked Mr. Townsend and the jury found that was the case," said Olinde.

Olinde says his client admits to pepper spraying Townsend, however they are pleased that the court agreed Davis was acting "within the course and scope of his employment."

"That also shows that Officer Davis was doing what he was trained to do as a BRPD," said Olinde.

With the rulings affirmed, it would appear the city is again on the hook for $239,000. However, a few hurdles remain.

The EBR Parish Attorney's Office said they plan to appeal to the Supreme Court. They have 30 days to issue a writ.

However, Olinde and Saunders both indicated their clients are ready for closure.

"Mr. Townsend has forgiven Officer Davis for what happened, and personally I wish Davis the best. Officer Davis spent some time in prison. This was a tragedy for his family as well as my client," said Saunders.

Copyright 2015 WAFB. All rights reserved.