I-TEAM: Fourth officer tied to potential BRPD corruption booked on malfeasance charge
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A fourth officer tied to potential corruption within the Baton Rouge Police Department linked to a 2020 incident has been booked into parish prison.
According to court records, Doug Chutz was booked Monday, October 2, 2023, on one count of malfeasance in office. This is related to an incident in 2020 when officers beat a man who had been arrested was being strip-searched inside the bathroom of the Baton Rouge Police Department’s First Precinct building on Plank Road.
Chief Murphy Paul said in a news conference Friday that two officers used their department-issued tasers to try to get the man to comply with their demands that he strip down. During the course of the strip search, the chief says a package of synthetic marijuana fell from the man’s buttocks.
Chief Paul said the officers likely did not realize that when they deployed their tasers, their body cameras were also automatically activated.
After the incident, the chief said a supervisor asked to review the body camera footage and determined that the footage showed the officers were in violation of the department’s use of excessive force policy.
The chief says a plan was then devised to destroy that body camera evidence.
The investigation into the incident led to the arrest warrants being issued for the four officers.
Three other officers, deputy chief Troy Lawrence Sr., Jesse Barcelona, and Todd Thomas turned themselves in on malfeasance and other charges related to the incident last week. They have since bonded out of prison.
Chutz was released from prison the same day after posting bond. His bond was set at $15,000.
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