Alabama teen sues NOPD over alleged beating - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Alabama teen sues NOPD over alleged beating

NOPD's 8th District station NOPD's 8th District station

An Alabama teenager who says he was beat up by New Orleans police during Mardi Gras of 2012 says his civil rights were violated.  A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges not only excessive force but also a cover-up inside the 8th District police station.

Among the defendants named in the federal civil rights suit are the city, a handful of NOPD officers, the commander of the 8th District and NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas.

Attorneys for 19-year old Dylan Driggers filed the complaint in federal court exactly one year after the alleged brutality.  FOX 8 first spoke with the Alabama teen in May 2012 and he described his injuries.

"I had seven or eight knots on my head, bruises on my back and a scrape on my head," Driggers told us.  "But I could tell I had been bleeding and my nose had been bleeding."

Driggers says he was roughed up after being arrested on Bourbon Street.  He claims Lt. Mike Field, a "Sergeant Dupree" and other officers attacked him for no reason while he was handcuffed to a bench at the 8th District.

The suit alleges the lieutenant bragged about the beating, showing off his knuckles to other officers.

Orleans Parish Prison told FOX 8 that, because of Driggers' injuries, the jail refused to take him in so police took him to the hospital first.

Driggers says, "I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance because I was knocked unconscious. They took me in a waiting room and gave me a CAT scan, but if you look at the police report that never shows up."

The federal suit also alleges the 8th District commander and another officer tried to cover up the incident by allegedly destroying or attempting to destroy surveillance video from the police station and falsifying the police report.

NOPD's Public Integrity Bureau launched its probe shortly after the allegations surfaced, then turned the case over to the Orleans Parish District Attorney's office for further investigation into exactly what happened the night the Alabama teen was arrested.

The charges against Driggers were public intoxication and simple battery on a police officer. Those charges are being handled in Municipal Court.

The NOPD doesn't comment on pending litigation, but tells FOX 8 that the alleged beating case is still being reviewed by the D.A.'s office.

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