Monday, April 28, 2008

Nathan Davis, Baton Rouge Police Brutality

Nathan Davis a Baton Rouge Cop Fired for Police Brutality

BATON ROUGE, LA. The Baton Rouge police chief has fired an officer accused of forcing a handcuffed man to the floor, kicking him hard enough to burst an internal organ, then using pepper spray on him.

Nathan Davis was fired Friday, after an internal investigation found that he used excessive force against Brian Townsend, 29, who has filed a lawsuit claiming that one of the officer’s kicks ruptured his bladder.

Told that Davis had been fired, Townsend said, “No way! No way! I can’t even describe how I feel right now!”

Chief Jeff LeDuff made Davis’ dismissal effective immediately, and the police department will forward the case to the FBI for review, police spokesman Sgt. Don Kelly said Friday.

“I have never been more proud of a police chief and officers in internal affairs in my lifetime,” Townsend’s lawyer, Aidan Reynolds, said Friday.

Townsend said four operations have left him with a 10-inch scar from his navel to his groin.

Police were sent to Townsend’s house about 3 a.m. March 4, during a going-away party he was giving for a friend.

“Apparently someone decided there were too many cars in front of his house. Then he got handcuffed, pepper sprayed and brutalized for hours,” Reynolds said.

Davis and Officer Nicholas Batiste were “very aggressive and confrontational” when they arrived, according to the suit, which names Davis and East Baton Rouge city-parish government as defendants. The suit, filed in March, says Townsend was calm and curteous but Davis tackled him to the ground.

After handcuffing Townsend, the lawsuit says, Davis kneed him in the back so forcefully that he defecated. It says Davis used pepper spray on Townsend when he asked why he was being arrested, and again at the Highland Road substation, where he was made to lie on the floor and ridiculed by other police officers, the lawsuit says.
It says Townsend’s pleas for medical help were ignored for 30 minutes.
“My client cares more about this officer being not allowed to brutalize other human beings more than this lawsuit,” Reynolds said. “He’s been terrified that this cop’s still running around on the street with a badge and a gun.”

Davis, 29, had spent four years with the Police Department as a member of the uniformed patrol division, Kelly said. He declined to elaborate on the investigation further, saying it was a personnel issue.

Townsend, a manager at Chili’s, spent 108 days on medical leave due to his injuries. His first day back at work was Friday.

“For both of these huge events to happen in the same day just kind of seems like karma,” Townsend said.

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