Jury finds 3 former BRPD officers not guilty of 'abuse of power'

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Three former Baton Rouge Police officers have been found not guilty by a jury on Saturday for charges of abuse of power related to a sex act that allegedly occurred in a park.

After over four hours of closing arguments, the six man jury only deliberated for a little over an hour before returning with a verdict of "not guilty."

All three defense attorneys of Travis Wheeler, Isaac Bolden, and Emerson Jackson used the day to break the credibility of the alleged victim, citing inconsistent testimony. But state attorneys continued to ask the jury to use "common sense" to decide what happened exactly in the BREC park in February 2014.

After the not guilty verdict was reached, District Attorney Hillar Moore said he spoke with the jury, who told him they do believe something happened in the park between Bolden and the victim, but they didn't have enough physical evidence to support that claim.

"I'm just really happy right now," Bolden said. "It should've never gotten this far in the first place. There was never any evidence of any wrongdoing."

Moore said his office treated this trial just like any other case and would try it again if the same facts came forth.

"We work hard, this one just happened to have police officers involved," Moore said. "We just hoped we had a little more physical evidence, the testimonial evidence was there from our victim. We stand behind her."

Moore said he and his office will continue to work with the victim and her family as this trail winds down.

On Saturday, January 27, the defense attorneys called Jamel Bolden, Isaac Bolden's wife to the stand. She testified that Isaac always wanted to be a police officer and show a positive image to black communities. He officially became an officer in 2013.

She also said she never had a reason to think he had been unfaithful. They have been married for 22 years and have two children together. Jamel testified she found out about the alleged incident the next morning around 3 a.m. when Isaac told her.

She also testified to state attorneys that on February 4,2014, the night of the alleged incident, Isaac came home like any normal evening around 9 p.m. to eat dinner then left and went back to work. She says they had a normal interaction, which they talked about the kids.

She told the defense attorneys that ever since these accusations came out it has "turned our family upside down, total nightmare ever since."

Bolden resigned from the force later in February 2014, after having been with BRPD for just over a year, turning himself in to authorities in November 2014.

The defense and prosecutors rested their case on Saturday, a trial which began Wednesday, January 25, ending after four days. Closing arguments began after lunch, then the jury deliberated for a little over an hour before coming back with a verdict.

Bolden says he is ready to put this behind him and return to California with his family to put his life back together after being found not guilty.

Wheeler and Jackson both say they are now focused on getting their jobs back with BRPD.

Wheeler, Jackson, and Bolden were accused of going up to a man and woman in a car at a BREC park and telling the man to leave and asking the woman to perform a sex act on one of the officers while the two other officers watched.

Wheeler, Jackson, and Bolden pleaded not guilty to those charges during an arraignment in January 2015.

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