Brave Cave, BRPD’s ‘torture warehouse’ must remain untouched until visit from defense lawyers
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A federal judge has ruled the Baton Rouge Police Department’s interrogation site known as the “Brave Cave” must be kept in its current condition, to preserve any evidence of wrongdoing tied to allegations in the Jeremy Lee case.
Lee filed a federal lawsuit against the department in August after the WAFB I-Team first exposed claims that he was taken to the facility and beaten. The I-Team investigation revealed the site of the Brave Cave, a processing center near the department’s first district precinct which Lee’s attorney calls a “torture warehouse” and “black site.”
In a ruling published Wednesday, Judge Scott Johnson wrote that city-parish attorneys argued that there was no threat of any evidence tied to the Brave Cave being destroyed. However, defense attorneys cited instances where they claim evidence was destroyed, altered, or lost because of BRPD’s actions.
Judge Johnson wrote that Lee and his legal team also requested a court-ordered visit to the Brave Cave. Johnson did not issue the order because the department’s lawyers have not yet appeared in court. However, he wrote that Baton Rouge police officers should not remove or otherwise change anything about the Brave Cave before that visit occurs.
The WAFB I-Team was previously questioned by Chief of Police Murphy Paul about how much video had been retained from the facility, which he claims has multiple cameras. The chief said an investigation was underway to determine just how much of that video was still in BRPD’s possession.
WAFB’s attempts to visit the facility for our own inspection have been shot down by the police department’s public affairs teams. Chief Paul has said that there are no other processing facilities that are similar to the Brave Cave.
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