BATON ROUGE — A Baton Rouge Police Officer, who was re-hired 23 years after he was fired, has officially been terminated from the Baton Rouge Police Dept.
BRPD Officer Tremelle Neldare was placed on administrative leave Monday, June 12, following an Unfiltered with Kiran investigation. Less than 24 hours later, he was terminated from the department after starting at BRPD in late March 2023.
It comes after two investigations by Unfiltered with Kiran highlighted that Neldare was re-hired despite his termination 23 years ago from BRPD and three resignations from other area law enforcement agencies. He was brought on at a pay step 16, well over what starting officers begin their career with at BRPD. That means he started around $56,000 a year, compared to the usual nearly $40,000 for a starting officer.
UWK‘s reporting also put Neldare on District Attorney Hillar Moore’s Brady List.
Those UWK investigations triggered a private meeting with East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome on June 9.
“We serve a God who is a God of order. Everything about the rehire of this officer Neldare was out of order,” said Brandon Butler’s mother.
Not being able to hold back tears, Angel Matthews added, “It’s like this thing has been pressing on me and it’s a release. It helps me keep the faith that no matter how broken the system is, but according to the God I serve, there’s always hope and there’s peace and right now, I have a feeling of peace. It’s not just for me, it’s for all those officers and for all of Baton Rouge. It gives Baton Rouge hope. It’s a mark of getting on the right track and maybe there’s hope for this city. It may be something small for some, but this is a big deal for me.”
UWK also called Neldare. No one answered the phone.
Private meeting with Mayor
East Baton Rouge Councilwoman Laurie Adams confirmed she and a few other women had a meeting with East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome over Neldare’s rehiring.
“The meeting was Friday in the mayor’s office. There were women who were specifically concerned of incidents of sexual harassment by a police officer who had recently been rehired,” said Councilwoman Adams. “The mayor listened very carefully and asked some probing questions and assured us that she took these types of things very seriously and that she would be digging into it.”
That meeting was on Friday, June 9. As of Monday, June 12, BRPD Officer Neldare has been placed on admin leave, according to sources.
In April, UWK reported the now 56-year-old was fired in 2000 from BRPD for conduct unbecoming of an officer, sexual harassment, and lack of truthfulness following two separate assault allegations.
Internal documentation detailed illicit assaults made by Officer Neldare to a man and a woman less than a month apart. Both victims’ complaints were reviewed by the Baton Rouge Police Department’s internal affairs division and ultimately led to his termination in 2000 by then Police Chief Greg Phares.
Neldare, BRPD Police Chief Murphy Paul and Deputy Chief Myron Daniels are all members of the same fraternity Omega Psi Phi.
July 29, 2000: Traffic stop assault
The first incident involved a 19-year-old victim on July 29, 2000. The young man was stopped for an alleged traffic violation around midnight on Florida Blvd. His 16-year-old friend was the passenger in the car. The teens were in the area waiting to see if a relative needed a ride home when an officer stopped their vehicle. Officer Neldare then ran over to the stopped car, according to records.
Unfiltered with Kiran obtained the victim’s statement, which he typed up in his own words, describing what happened that night. The victim reported the incident to the Baton Rouge Police Department internal affairs in 2000.
Fast forward to 2023, that 19-yr-old victim is now a man and a Baton Rouge Police officer himself. After UWK’s first investigation, the victim’s mother Angel Matthews sat down for a one-on-one interview repeatedly saying, “Make it make sense.”
August 25, 2000: Same officer, new allegation
Then, less than four weeks later, there was another incident involving Officer Neldare. This time, the victim was a woman who claims that she was inappropriately touched by Officer Neldare.
On August 25, 2000, two BRPD officers were responding to a call on Evangeline St. when they heard a disturbance nearby between a boyfriend and girlfriend. Officer Neldare responded to the disturbance. He separated the couple and took the man outside. While checking his ID, Officer Neldare started talking to him.
In his internal affairs documents, then Baton Rouge Police Chief Greg Phares documented to Officer Neldare that he made a remark to the woman to the effect that Neldare wanted to see what the woman had that was making her boyfriend ‘crazy.’
Chief Phares documented that Officer Neldare then placed his hand inside the front of the woman’s pants. The victim pulled away. She would later report him to internal affairs and said that Officer Neldare then lifted her sweater to look at her rear. When she expressed fear of her boyfriend returning to hurt her, documents show Officer Neldare offered to provide 24-hour protection for her if she could cook or give him a back massage. She replied that she would do neither. When her teenage son arrived, Officer Neldare left the home.
The victim’s family convinced her to go to BRPD to file a report on the officer. After she met with Officer Neldare’s supervisor, he requested Neldare’s report of the Aug. 25th incident. That’s when Officer Neldare detailed his conversations with both the boyfriend and girlfriend.