BRPD officer, son of deputy chief, has history of complaints

It was 2020 when Baton Rouge Police Officer Troy Lawrence Jr. admittedly muted his body camera at the scene of a fender bender.
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 8:59 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 20, 2023 at 9:26 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It was 2020 when Baton Rouge Police Officer Troy Lawrence Jr. admittedly muted his body camera at the scene of a fender bender. His alleged aggressive handling of a witness at that scene cost the city-parish $55,000 in a settlement.

RELATED: BRPD lawyers refuse apology, costing taxpayers $15K

Before that, Lawrence Jr. was accused of crossing the line with the people he is sworn to protect and serve when he cursed at a young man at the scene of a traffic stop on New Year’s Day. Lawrence Jr.’s body camera was not muted during that encounter.

“Hey...If you don’t shut the f*ck up....I’m going to come in there and I’m going to f*ck you up,” Lawrence Jr. is heard telling a man in the vehicle. That man was on the phone with his mother while Lawrence Jr. continued to berate him saying, “You think I’m playing with you? I will f*ck you up.”

Actions taken by Lawrence Jr. and other actions taken by his fellow officers cost taxpayers $35,000.

“The Baton Rouge Police Department is paying for its wrongdoing with taxpayer money. So as long as they can continue to cut checks with taxpayer money, without any sort of consequences for them, they are happy to do so,” said Thomas Frampton. Frampton, an attorney living in Virginia, has represented clients in cases against BRPD and officer Lawrence. He has also personally sued BRPD for a case in which officer Lawrence Jr. was involved.

An examination of Lawrence Jr.’s cases gives the public a better understanding of how the department deals with officers who violate policies multiple times within a few years. Lawrence Jr. is an especially interesting case because he is the son of BRPD Deputy Chief Troy Lawrence Sr.

The older Lawrence is part of the group that makes discipline recommendations to the chief of police for any officer accused of wrongdoing.

Police Chief Murphy Paul signs off on those recommendations and approves the discipline for his officers. In Lawrence Jr.’s case, Paul says corrective actions have been taken to put an end to repeat policy violations. That includes placing Lawrence Jr. in BRPD’s internal behavior management program known as EIS, or Early Intervention System.

Paul points to Lawrence Jr. as an example, that officers are not able to get away with violating the department’s policies unscathed, adding that Lawrence Jr. does not receive favor because of his father’s position.

“Because I think if you look at the incidents, they were investigated. There was no incident that was not investigated, and the appropriate disciplinary action was taken if there was a violation of policies just like with any other officer,” said Paul.

However, with the violations piling up, including a complaint filed against Lawrence Jr. just days before the writing of this report, Chief Paul is faced with the question of when is enough, enough.

“I think you see in our five years here there has been accountability. We look at each case but when we make a determination that an officer can no longer wear that badge. I think you’ll see that we’ve been pretty consistent with that and hold those officers accountable,” said Paul.

The chief was unable to say whether Lawrence Jr. is a named defendant in any cases that are currently being litigated against the city-parish. The city-parish attorney’s office has also avoided attempts to answer that question.

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