Baton Rouge police officer will not face charges after fatal 2017 wreck that resulted in baby’s death

BRPD officers said to have caused wreck that killed 1-year-old girl will not be charged

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - An officer with the Baton Rouge Police Department will not face any charges after causing a wreck on Airline Highway in 2017 that resulted in the death of a 1-year-old girl, East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore confirmed Wednesday, Nov. 13.

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The officer, Christopher Manuel, and the child’s mother, Brittany Stephens, were both initially arrested and charged with negligent homicide after it was determined the officer was speeding, but that the mother did not properly restrain her child inside her vehicle.

Prosecutors have decided to take no action in the case, meaning it won’t move forward against either party involved. Manuel remains an officer with BRPD.

“It becomes a conundrum of ‘Who’s at fault?’” Moore said. “Do you really want to charge the mom with her child’s death? Of course not. Which act truly caused the death, speeding or lack of proper restraint? Is one more culpable than the other? We couldn’t really determine that based on the facts of the case and what the law requires.”

Sgt. L’Jean McKneely with BRPD confirms a disciplinary hearing for Manuel will take place, but details about when were not readily available.

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