BATON ROUGE — Two separate federal lawsuits have now been filed naming Baton Rouge Police Officer Troy Lawrence Jr. as a defendant in using the “brave cave” and pointing the finger as Chief Murphy Paul for failing to do his job as the top cop.
Late Tuesday, Thompson Frampton filed a second lawsuit in federal court in Baton Rouge. It is similar to the first lawsuit filed but went into further detail about the alleged “torture warehouse,” aka the “brave cave.”
The day after the first lawsuit was filed, BRPD officer Troy Lawrence Jr. resigned. The Baton Rouge Police Dept. held a news conference to address allegations of the “brave cave.”
“Very familiar with this facility that I can honestly say thousands of suspects have been processed in over the years, I was shocked to hear the name “brave cave.” That was the first time I had ever heard of such a name and surprisingly, that was also most of the staff and officers throughout the department had ever heard of,” BRPD Deputy Chief Myron Daniels.
In the second lawsuit, the same plaintiff as in the first suit, Jeremy Lee, claims that he was beaten in what is now being called the “brave cave,” “where citizens are taken, held incommunicado, denied counsel, and beaten”, according to the lawsuit.
In addition to listing Troy Lawrence Jr. as a defendant, the second suit also names two other BRPD officers accused of wrongdoing, Matthew Wallace and Joseph Carboni.
Officer Lawrence is accused of taking Lee to the “torture warehouse” instead of parish prison. While at the warehouse, all three named officers allegedly “repeatedly punched and kicked Mr. Lee.” Lee was so badly beaten that East Baton Rouge Parish Prison refused to accept him. It’s why he was taken to a hospital where the suit claims he was “diagnosed with broken ribs and other physical injuries as a result of his beating.”
But then Officer Lawrence is also accused of doctoring a false police report that Lee tried fleeing from BRPD’s torture warehouse and even accused Lee was committing a battery against Officer Lawrence. The two additional officers, Wallace and Carboni are accused of signing the allegations in the sworn police reports, according to the suit.
The suit also maintains allegations against Chief Murphy Paul for not performing his job properly in supervising the department.
The lawsuit says on Jan. 17, 2023, Lee’s mother emailed Chief Paul to “alert him that her son was kidnapped and severely beaten by the arresting officers.” The suit goes on to say “Chief Paul personally called her to acknowledge receipt of the complaint.” Lee then filed an internal affairs complaint against the officers on April 18, 2023, acknowledged receipt of the complaint on April 25, 2023 but accused of lying to media when media requested information about the alleged incident from earlier in the year.
At Tuesday’s news conference, Chief Paul said the April 25th incident was a different incident than the one pointed out in the lawsuit.
“We will investigate this just like we investigate all other complaints. I think the community understands that we’ve shown accountability. We’ve been transparent. It’s one of the reasons we are having this press conference today, but we’re going to investigate that and at the conclusion of that investigation, a lot of questions will be answered and we will educate the public on our findings,” said Chief Paul in a news conference held Tuesday at BRPD headquarters. “There are some things I saw that I would like upgraded. I immediately suspended all operations at that facility until we can make some changes. Some of the changes I’ve directed my staff is lighting on the exterior and construction to put an interview room that is consistent with the interview rooms we have here at headquarters as well as at our violent crimes unit.”