BATON ROUGE — A third federal lawsuit has now been filed over the controversial “Brave Cave.”
In the latest lawsuit, the Baton Rouge Police Dept. finds itself defending the use of the “Brave Cave” and now, its strip search policy. Also, a high-ranking BRPD Deputy Chief, Myron Daniels, is being accused of protecting certain officers from internal investigations.
The lawsuit names Ternell Brown, “a Baton Rouge Grandmother,” according to the suit, as the latest victim of misdeeds inside the now infamous “Brave Cave”, a clandestine building used by the BRPD Street Crimes Officers for interrogations.
The suit claims that after a traffic stop, Brown was illegally taken to the “Brave Cave” and subjected to a strip search without legal cause. The suit added that “Defendants Lawrence, Wallace, and Unknown Female Officer examined her, forced her to spread her vagina and buttocks for inspection and examined her vagina using a flashlight. Defendants Lawrence, Wallace, and Unknown Female Officer did not have a warrant, probable cause, or consent to conduct either a Strip or Body Cavity search.” It went on to read, “Once satisfied that Mrs. Brown was not hiding a weapon or contraband in her rectum or vagina, she was released from “the BRAVE Cave” without charge.”
Brown was released after proving that the prescription pills she had on her were legal because she had a prescription and, despite all of this, she was never arrested or cited for any offense.
The lawsuit names former BRPD Officer Troy Lawrence, Jr., current BRPD Officer Matthew Wallace, another unknown female Officer and BRPD’s Chief Murphy Paul.
The lawsuit claims that BRPD has a “longstanding practice or custom of illegal strip searches”, and that their policy on strip searches itself is unconstitutional.
The lawsuit also alleges that BRPD Deputy Chief Myron Daniels, who oversees the Internal Affairs division, has been a large part of the reason that complaints against the Street Crimes Unit have been “covered up.”
The suit accuses Daniels of “personally shut[ting] down a meritorious Internal Affairs investigation into wrongdoing by Lorenzo Coleman,” who is the head of the Street Crimes Unit at the center of this controversy. The suit links Daniels and Coleman together as business partners in the Armor Consulting Group, which “they gain additional income from,” according to court records.
“Because he has a business partnership with Coleman and because the two men share an interest in maintaining their reputation as police reformers, Daniels should have recused himself from an Internal Affairs or misconduct investigation into the Street Crimes Unit that Coleman oversaw,” read the lawsuit.
The suit added that Daniels is the president of Armor Consulting Group with Coleman listed as the chief operating officer.
Daniels is also accused of making “false and misleading statements” at the August 29, 2023 press conference held by BRPD related to allegations related to the “Brave Cave.”
The lawsuit repeats the allegations from the previous suits filed two weeks ago.