BRPD Chief: Officer accused of making racist comments online on administrative leave

BRPD officer placed on leave after allegedly making racist comments on website

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul says one of his officers has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation after he and the department’s internal affairs division learned the officer was accused of making racist and other offensive comments on a website.

An official with the Baton Rouge Police Department tells WAFB the officer on administrative leave is Sgt. Chris Kuhn.

Sources tell WAFB, Kuhn was elected treasurer of the Baton Rouge Union of Police in August. Sources confirm the officer was dismissed from his position on the board of the union.

Chief Paul issued the following statement Thursday, Sept. 24:

"On Monday (Sept. 21) the Baton Rouge Police Department received a complaint indicating a Baton Rouge Police officer was using a fictitious account while blogging on a website using racist, sexist, insulting and other offensive and insensitive language.

The comments in the complaint are disturbing, to say the least, and are unacceptable under any circumstance. This information was presented to me and I immediately directed our Internal Affairs Commander to initiate an investigation. The accused officer was immediately placed on administrative leave. As your Chief, I would like to conclude this investigation expeditiously, but our investigative timelines are governed by the Law Enforcement Bill of Rights, LRS 40:2531. Per this law, the accused officer is granted up to thirty day to secure counsel before being questioned. We plan to act swiftly, but thoroughly to get to the bottom of this. Make no mistake – making racist and insensitive comments like the ones I read in the complaint, is a terminable offense in the Baton Rouge Police Department Policy.

If our investigative efforts confirm that a Baton Rouge Police officer is responsible for the comments, I assure you, that individual will be held accountable," Paul said in the statement.

Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome issued a statement condemning the officer’s offensive comments:

“I am appalled at what I have read about the “racist rants” attributed to a Baton Rouge police officer. I know that Chief Paul acted swiftly to place the officer accused of making these racist comments on administrative leave. If the investigation determines that he is the one who made the remarks, he should be fired immediately. There is absolutely no place for that, and I will not tolerate it,” Broome said.

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