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Troubled BRPD officer implicated in 'Brave Cave' lawsuit arrested on simple battery charge

2 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Thursday, September 21 2023 Sep 21, 2023 September 21, 2023 2:27 PM September 21, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A former Baton Rouge police officer with a history of excessive force complaints was arrested over allegations that he tased a suspect in handcuffs. 

Sources told the WBRZ Investigative Unit that Troy Lawrence Jr., 26, was issued a summons for simple battery Wednesday. The charge stems from an incident involving a suspect back in August, weeks before his resignation from BRPD. 

It happened Aug. 8 during a narcotics investigation involving BRPD's Street Crimes unit. A statement from BRPD said Lawrence "dry stunned" a handcuffed suspect in the back of a police unit before that person had a chance to comply with his commands. 

The charge is unrelated to the ongoing "Brave Cave" lawsuit, which alleges Lawrence and other members of BRPD's now-defunct Street Crimes unit physically abused suspects inside of a makeshift interrogation facility. 

The Street Crimes unit was disbanded last month as police began a criminal investigation into the Brave Cave allegations, and Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto reported Tuesday that two officers with ties to the unit were placed on administrative leave. 

WBRZ has reported on Lawrence's history of complaints, stemming from claims he used excessive force on the job. Those complaints have led to legal settlements costing the city tens of thousands of dollars.

In late August, BRPD Chief Murphy Paul said the department started Lawrence's termination process after receiving the latest complaint, but Lawrence resigned before he could be formally terminated. 

BRPD put out the following statement after WBRZ reported on his arrest Thursday. 

Baton Rouge Police arrested former BRPD Officer TROY LAWRENCE JR, 26, for an incident that occurred on August 8, 2023 around 8:53pm at 6305 Airline Hwy. Baton Rouge Police Detectives reviewed departmental body camera footage that showed a handcuffed subject, as he sat in the rear seat of the patrol car, being dry stunned by a department issued taser without giving the subject an opportunity to comply to verbal commands.

Lawrence was issued a misdemeanor summons for Simple Battery on September 20, 2023 and released.

This is an ongoing investigation.

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