One week after his son's arrest, high-ranking BRPD officer placed on leave as feds investigate department
BATON ROUGE - Troy Lawrence Sr., a BRPD deputy chief whose police officer son was arrested last week after it was revealed he tased a handcuffed suspect, has been placed on administrative leave as the department faces a federal investigation over alleged police misconduct.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit learned Wednesday morning that Lawrence Sr. was put on leave as the department continues to investigate the actions of the Street Crimes unit. The unit was scuttled last month as the department started looking into claims of excessive force tied to Street Crimes' use of a makeshift interrogation site known as the "Brave Cave."
Multiple lawsuits allege that arrestees were physically abused and unlawfully strip-searched inside the crude facility, which appeared to be little more than an empty warehouse.
Ryan Thompson is the attorney who filed one of the lawsuits which brought the Brave Cave to light.
"It's very concerning," Thompson said. "We have been waiting on news like this and always speculated that something like this would happen from the top down. Obviously, Chief Murphy Paul stated he was not aware of strip searches at the Brave Cave. We take him at his word. But we always maintained those under him were aware of what was going on. This is huge news."
Troy Lawrence Sr. —who's been with the department more than 25 years — was previously commander of the Street Crimes unit, formerly known as the BRAVE unit.
"It gives me some confidence that we are moving in the right direction," Thompson said. "That type of systemic rot does not happen unless there are individuals above you that are aware of it. Whether it's a lieutenant, sergeant or deputy chief."
Troy Lawrence Jr. resigned in late August as BRPD started his termination process. The Baton Rouge Police Department and the FBI are currently investigating the allegations of misconduct tied to Lawrence Jr. and other members of the defunct Street Crimes unit.
Two more officers with ties to the Street Crimes unit were also placed on leave earlier this month, though the department would not explain what led to that decision.
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