Home Feature News Baton Rouge police tortured detainees in ‘Courageous Cave,’ lawsuits allege | CNN

Baton Rouge police tortured detainees in ‘Courageous Cave,’ lawsuits allege | CNN

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Baton Rouge police tortured detainees in ‘Courageous Cave,’ lawsuits allege | CNN

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CNN
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The FBI in Louisiana has been requested to help the Baton Rouge Police Division in its felony and inner investigation after attorneys filed a second federal lawsuit in opposition to the division, a number of particular person law enforcement officials and town in reference to an alleged torture warehouse dubbed the “Courageous Cave,” in line with a criticism.

“The Baton Rouge Police Division is dedicated to addressing these troubling accusations and has initiated administrative and felony investigations,” the police division mentioned in a press release to CNN on Wednesday.

Police Chief Murphy Paul has requested FBI officers for his or her “help to make sure an unbiased assessment of those complaints,” the assertion mentioned.

The most recent lawsuit was filed Monday in US District Court docket and says Ternell Brown, a Baton Rouge grandmother, was stopped by Baton Rouge Police Division (BRPD) patrol officers whereas she was within the automobile along with her husband in June 2023. Brown was carrying two several types of prescription capsules in the identical container, “which she lawfully possessed,” it reads.

“As a result of BRPD officers deemed this habits ‘suspicious,’ she was taken to BRPD’s black web site, the place she was pressured to indicate officers that she was not hiding contraband in her vagina or rectum. After greater than two hours, they let her go with out cost,” the criticism states. Her husband was not taken to the Courageous Cave, in line with the criticism.

The lawsuit alleges that the officers concerned within the search have been “not appearing as rogue officers after they sexually humiliated Mrs. Brown; quite, they have been merely finishing up official BRPD coverage … (which) instructs officers that they could conduct these invasive strip searchers at any time when they’ve ‘affordable suspicion to frisk’ a detainee. Such a coverage runs immediately opposite to longstanding US Supreme Court docket jurisprudence.”

This newest lawsuit comes simply over three weeks after Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome introduced that Troy Lawrence Jr., one of many officers implicated within the black web site operation, had resigned amid an investigation into the matter.

The mayor mentioned she was beforehand unaware of the ability and had “directed Chief Paul to droop all operations on the facility pending an intensive investigation by the BRPD.”

Jeremy Lee is pictured in this image from police body camera footage at the warehouse, which has since been closed.

The location, formally generally known as the Narcotics Processing Facility “has been completely closed and the Avenue Crimes Unit Officers have been disbanded and reassigned,” in line with the police division’s assertion.

Lawrence served because the division’s Deputy Chief of Patrol Operations, in line with the metropolis web site. He’s named in two lawsuits filed concerning the Courageous Cave.

CNN has reached out to attorneys for Troy Lawrence, the police union and others named within the lawsuit for remark however has not but heard again.

In a lawsuit filed final month, Baton Rouge resident Jeremy Lee, 21, alleges he was taken to the warehouse on January 9, 2023, and overwhelmed because the officers periodically turned their physique cameras on and off.

Earlier than being taken to the warehouse, Lee had been detained at a house “with out affordable suspicion or possible trigger,” mentioned the criticism. He was pressured down in the midst of the road, his pants have been pulled down so they may search him – in public – and officers grabbed his genitals. When he requested why he was being arrested, the officers refused to inform him why, in line with the criticism.

Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul is pictured at the department's headquarters in March.

Officers used “extreme drive” leading to accidents that led to a go to to pressing care the place he was recognized with a “fractured left rib, chest ache, and left facial ache,” mentioned the criticism.

Lee was charged with “resisting an officer,” in line with the lawsuit – which signifies police didn’t present a purpose for his detention.

In a press release offered to CNN affiliate WBRZ, Chief Paul, who’s amongst these named within the lawsuits, says the investigation will take time.

“I perceive all people desires to get it proper, however investigations take time,” he mentioned. “We’ve bought to get it proper, and generally I can’t give it to you proper now. However I guarantee you there can be an intensive investigation.”

Jessica F. Hawkins, one of many attorneys representing each plaintiffs, mentioned in a information launch that she is “receiving calls day by day from Baton Rouge residents who have been taken to this black web site and illegally strip searched. These cases of abuse should be correctly investigated and addressed and whoever carried out these atrocities must be held accountable.”

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