Group calling for change in BRPD leadership

A newly established group of citizens is aiming to change the leadership at the Baton Rouge Police Department.

Former Baton Rouge Police Sgt. John Dauthier founded Restore BR to change Baton Rouge, starting with the police department.

Dauthier worked with BRPD for 21 years before resigning in June after a tumultuous three-year stretch working under Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul.

Dauthier worked in the internal affairs division under Paul, but then said after he witnessed what he described as a “blatantly partial doctrine of internal discipline,” he asked to be transferred out of internal affairs. He said the retaliation started soon after.

Dauthier was placed under investigation by Chief Paul three times from 2019 to June 2022. Dauthier was placed on administrative leave two days before he announced his retirement.

As the founder of Restore BR, Dauthier said the group’s message is based on legitimate facts, regardless of who the messenger is.

“I believe that the facts speak for themselves. Crime is rising,” he said. “Police morale is lower than it’s ever been, and those facts are the facts regardless of the messenger. The message is legitimate. And there are questions that I believe should be asked if someone were to ask me, ‘Why me?’ I think the real question is, ‘Who better than me?’ I spent a large portion of my life at the Baton Rouge Police Department.

“I spent a year in Chief Paul’s administration before I left,” he added. “I retired early after being the victim of a weaponized disciplinary process out of frustration. So the question is, is there anybody who knows this topic and the importance of the need for a new administration? Who knows that better than me?”

Restore BR is asking for the resignations of Chief Paul and Deputy Chief Daniels, or at least a reassignment to non-administrative/supervisory duties within the department.

Restore BR held its second meeting on Oct. 18th. Dauthier said they are planning a peaceful protest to demand change within leadership in the BRPD soon.

“The bottom line is crime. Crime continues to plague the city, and the rate at which these crimes are being solved remains below national levels,” said one Restore BR spokesperson. “There are a number of reasons we believe Chief Paul’s approach to crime and administration of personnel are the main factors, but the bottom line is that he has had his chance to right this ship and he has failed. He must be replaced. Here in south La. especially, we don’t allow our football coaches five losings seasons and continue to employ them. Why are we doing this with Chief Paul, when lives are being lost?”

Those interested in joining Restore BR, visit the group’s Facebook page to request to become a member.

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