I-TEAM: Internal probe launched after video shows officer punch, pull man’s hair
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The WAFB I-TEAM has learned Baton Rouge Police officer Troy Lawrence, Jr. Is being investigated for allegedly taking things too far while making an arrest. A source close to the case tells WAFB a video that surfaced online late last year is at the center of the current investigation that has the officer on leave.
The video appears to be shot by a bystander and shows officers struggling with a man in a doorway and officer Troy Lawrence, Jr. struggling with a man in the street while trying to put him into the back of a police unit. Lawrence can be seen pushing, punching and even grabbing the man’s hair while trying to get him into the patrol car.
“We’ve seen again and again and again Troy Lawrence Jr.’s inability to engage peacefully with consideration of people he’s supposed to be serving and protecting,” said attorney Thomas Frampton.
The encounter is just one of many questionable interactions that has gotten the officer in trouble and some of them have cost taxpayer’s big time. Taxpayers paid $55,000 to make a lawsuit go away after an interaction where Lawrence grabbed a woman by her wrist and snatched her out of her car following a fender bender. The officer also muted his body camera before things went sideways, which is a violation of BRPD policy. Attorney Thomas Frampton questions how many times this officer will be allowed to violate policy and remain on the force. It is worth mentioning that the officer’s father is Troy Lawrence, Sr., a high-ranking deputy chief within the agency.
“At this point, it’s not just about a bad apple. It’s about an entire institution that fails to hold accountable one of their own,” Frampton added.
That same officer can also be heard cursing at a teenage after a traffic stop on New Year’s Day 2020. He has also faced a number of internal affairs complaints, including some from his own fellow officers. According to internal affairs reports, one of those complaints came in after he took off his vest and tried to fight a supervisor after getting into an argument while working an extra duty shift in Tigerland. In an interview with internal affairs that supervisor said he did not feel comfortable working with Lawrence because he does not know what he’s capable of doing.
“That was in an internal affairs report over a year ago so if they’re not going to listen to high-ranking BRPD officials who are blowing the whistle, what should give Baton Rouge citizens any reason to think they’re going to listen to citizen complaints,” said Frampton.
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