East Baton Rouge taxpayers doled out $350k for police-caused crashes over past 2 years
BATON ROUGE - Taxpayers in East Baton Rouge Parish spent nearly $350,000 to settle at-fault crashes caused by Baton Rouge Police for the years 2021 and 2022, Metro Council records reviewed by the WBRZ Investigative Unit show.
The actual number of crashes and the amounts could be higher because settlements typically below $10,000 don't need Metro Council approval.
Wednesday afternoon, another at-fault BRPD crash occurred at the corner of Shelley Street and North Foster. Neighbors said a cop blew through a stop sign as he was chasing a suspect and slammed into a woman in a black Honda.
"I thought she was dead," a neighbor said. "I was walking up to the car, and he said, 'don't touch the car.'"
Neighbors said a large gathering of police showed up at the scene.
"They told me, 'don't record,' and I told them I can do what I want," the neighbor said.
Another neighbor said she watched as police tried to blame it on the guy they were chasing who got away.
"There were 20 to 25 of them out here yesterday," another neighbor said. "Conspiring in a circle talking. No one getting down. Everyone want you to lie saying the police didn't run the stop sign. Yes he did. Yes he did. Yes he did."
The WBRZ Investigative Unit found in 2021, $164,000 was paid out to settle at-fault crashes. So far this year, more than $190,000 has been paid out to settle at-fault crashes.
"They don't care," a neighbor said. "Our neighborhood, we live in a combat zone. If people want to smoke weed, that's their business... why would he run behind one person and jeopardize everyone else? He didn't give a damn."
Baton Rouge Police would not say if the officer involved was placed on leave. The woman who was hit was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
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