I-TEAM: Former BRPD officer faces new lawsuit tied to shocking incident

City of Baton Rouge and BRPD have been slapped with another federal lawsuit that accuses former officer Lawrence Jr. of abusing his power.
Published: Nov. 6, 2023 at 11:40 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 6, 2023 at 12:58 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The City of Baton Rouge and Baton Rouge Police Department have been slapped with another federal lawsuit that accuses former officer Troy Lawrence Jr. from the now-defunct street crimes unit of abusing his power.

The latest federal lawsuit accuses the former officer of using his department-issued taser to shock Lee Shaffers after he was already in handcuffs and being placed in the back of a police unit.

Shaffers was waiting for a ride from a truck stop on Airline Highway in August when Lawrence Jr. and Officer Matthew Wallace pulled up, according to the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, a man who was also in the parking lot near Shaffers, but not at all affiliated with him, ran away when the two officers arrived. While Troy Lawrence Jr. chased the man, Matthew Wallace accused Shaffers of making drug transactions, placed him in handcuffs, and put him in the back of a police car.

“This allegation was completely untrue and Lee Shaffers told Officer Wallace that he was a liar,” wrote attorney Peter Dudley, who filed the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, after Lawrence Jr. lost track of the man he was chasing, the former officer came back to the car where Shaffers was in the backseat and began shocking the man with his taser.

Lee was given a misdemeanor summons for resisting arrest and allowed to leave the scene, according to the lawsuit.

In late September, Lawrence Jr. was arrested and charged with battery because of this encounter. Baton Rouge Police leaders confirmed that Lawrence Jr. had stunned a man without giving him the opportunity to comply with verbal commands. The newly filed lawsuit is the first time that the suspect’s name and other details from the encounter have been made public.

Lawrence Jr. was also the subject of other WAFB I-TEAM investigations that exposed a history of behavior that resulted in several internal affairs complaints against the former officer and several costly lawsuit settlements against the Baton Rouge Police Department.

Lawrence Jr. later resigned from the department before he could be fired. He is the son of Troy Lawrence Sr. - a Baton Rouge Police Department deputy chief who was also arrested for an unrelated use of force incident and alleged coverup.

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