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Officer's body camera recorded 30 seconds of traffic stop that's focus of internal investigation

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BATON ROUGE - A thirty-second recording captures the moments a traffic stop begins that eventually led to a Baton Rouge Police officer being put on paid leave amid an internal investigation about what happened during the stop.

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WBRZ and Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto were first to report this week about the incident, which police are investigating.  A female college student reported to police, an officer gave her an option: Be cited for DWI or allow him to touch her body.

The 19-year-old had been stopped for suspicious of driving under the influence when she said the officer coerced her to drive to a warehouse, be touched and avoid being arrested.

WBRZ first reported the complaint Monday.

Thursday, amid days of Baton Rouge Police refusing to reveal details about the stop and what evidence may exist, WBRZ learned the officer's body camera recorded 30 seconds of footage before the recording ends.

"Only 30 seconds of body camera footage available which is troubling in itself," the woman's attorney, Ron Haley said. "The purpose of having these body cams and dash cams is to take away the gray area."

The officer has been on leave as investigators look into what happened.

Baton Rouge Police revealed Thursday, there is some body camera video being reviewed but would not say how long the video was.  There was no specific information released about what the recording showed. 

"If those cameras were manually turned off, that should tell the public that this officer was trying to prevent the truth from ever getting out," Haley said.

The officer involved is Donald Steele, a 7-year officer.  He was named officer of the month in 2018 but was disciplined before for making comments with racial undertones. 

The woman involved in the traffic stop filed a restraining order against the officer this week.  A family court judge granted the restraining order Thursday afternoon. 

Baton Rouge Police declined to do an interview, citing an ongoing investigation.

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