BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge Police Department released video on Tuesday, April 6, related to an incident involving LSU wide receiver Koy Moore and three officers in November 2020.
Moore tweeted about the encounter he had with the officers and said he felt violated. Chief Murphy Paul stated the incident happened at the Ion Apartments around 1:50 a.m. on Nov. 8, 2020. He added the encounter lasted less than three minutes.
Deputy Chief Miran Daniels said the officers were dispatched to West Chimes Street after a security guard reported about 200 people were having a party on the roof. He added that while the officers were driving up the ramp of the parking garage, they spotted two people suspiciously hiding behind parked vehicles and stopped to investigate. That’s when the encounter with Moore and the other young man took place.
A total of four video clips were released by the department. The first was from the police unit’s dash cam and the other three were from officers’ body cameras. Chief Paul said one of the officers was completely cleared of any wrongdoing and two of the officers were issued a letter of reprimand for conduct unbecoming an officer. The officers were required to undergo de-escalation training.
The chief added the officers perceived what they thought was a threat and responded to their training but have now undergone new training. The first responding officer had not yet undergone the new procedural justice training that the department has incorporated but has since the incident. Chief Paul stated the two young men said they ducked behind the vehicles because they saw people running and didn’t know why.
“It’s okay to say the young men did nothing wrong and that the officers didn’t do anything wrong either,” said Chief Paul.
He asked the public to not direct any negativity to Moore and his friend for filing the complaint and to not direct any negativity toward the officers for what they perceived as a threat. He also said he has been in contact with the families and hope they are satisfied with the accountability of the department.
“Koy Moore is satisfied that two of the officers, including the one that initiated the stop and frisk, were disciplined for Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and that the Chief will be instituting training for them in this regard,” said Mark Glago and Jatavian Williams, the attorneys for Moore and his family. “This is a positive outcome and will hopefully change how these officers treat young men in the future. The BRPD’s interaction with Koy Moore and his friend the night of Nov. 8 is clear evidence that we should expect more from the officers who are supposed to protect all citizens.”
The full statement is at the end of the story.
The story gained national media attention due to Moore’s status as a member of the LSU football team.
Following is the complete statement released by Mark Glago and Jatavian Williams regarding Koy Moore’s interaction with three Baton Rouge Police Department officers in November 2020:
“Koy Moore is satisfied that two of the officers, including the one that initiated the stop and frisk, were disciplined for Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and that the Chief will be instituting training for them in this regard. This is a positive outcome and will hopefully change how these officers treat young men in the future.
The BRPD’s interaction with Koy Moore and his friend the night of Nov. 8 is clear evidence that we should expect more from the officers who are supposed to protect all citizens.
Unfortunately for Koy, his first-ever encounter with police fell well outside of the conduct expected from police officers. When misconduct and policy violations occur, accountability and discipline must follow.
These are the facts.
Three Baton Rouge police officers in the early morning hours of Nov. 8 approached Moore aggressively. The body cam videos prove it.
At approximately 1:50 a.m. that morning, Koy and his friend decided to grab a bite to eat, just like so many college students on campuses across the country are known to do. They left their LSU campus apartment and walked to the adjoining parking garage to get to his friend’s vehicle. Koy was unarmed and possessed no drugs.
While walking to their vehicle in the parking garage, BRPD Officer Brian Spitzer abruptly stopped his patrol car and aggressively approached the pair. This encounter quickly escalated when the initiating officer drew his weapon and held these college students at gunpoint.
The interaction grew more intense when BRPD Officers Carboni and Bouraique blindly followed the lead of the initiating officer by also drawing their deadly weapons on these two unarmed college students and cursing both young men. Koy’s plea to be treated with respect was ignored. These officers searched Koy during this encounter in pursuit of a weapon and/or drugs. Nothing was found.
These BRPD officers displayed an utter lack of professionalism or understanding toward two college students. Both young men remained completely unaware of why they were being stopped and harassed. The officers provided no explanation.
This assault was unwarranted, unjustified and was overly aggressive. There are some that want to celebrate a victory for these police officers. Their words do nothing to change the facts of how these officers acted.
This encounter was noticeably omitted from the police report from that night, despite the fact that guns were pulled, and students were held at gunpoint. If the officers felt they committed no wrongdoing, why didn’t they put what happened in their report? Had Koy not shared his experience via social media, this encounter would have certainly gone unacknowledged.
The March 10, 2021 BRPD Internal Affairs hearing was a closed hearing between the police officers, their teams of attorneys and their chief of police. Koy was not invited to attend the hearing, nor were his attorneys. Most concerning is that another police officer was the person who decided whether the officers should be disciplined or not. Basically, the BRPD officers scored a touchdown during practice when there was no defense on the field.
Despite having all of these advantages, two officers were disciplined. Officer Brian Spitzer sustained multiple policy violations including Conduct Unbecoming of a Police Officer and Failure to Write a Report. Spitzer was disciplined such that a Letter of Reprimand is now attached to his file, and he has been ordered to undergo mandatory procedural justice training, as well as mandatory de-escalation training. In like manner, the second Officer involved also sustained a policy violation of exhibiting Conduct Unbecoming of a Police Officer and will receive a Letter of Reprimand.
Koy Moore, who was recognized as LSU’s Student Academic Athlete of the Month (Feb. 2021), fully stands by his Twitter and Instagram posts. As we all witnessed, the body cam videos are completely consistent with Koy’s account. The officers acted improperly, and the police’s own internal investigation found as such.
On behalf of Koy and his family, we applaud Chief Paul for his professionalism throughout this process. We fully support his endeavors to increase transparency and accountability with the community.”
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