Louisiana police officers indicted for allegedly covering up abuse of suspect: report

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Louisiana police officers indicted for allegedly covering up abuse of suspect: report

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Four officers with the Baton Rouge Police Department were indicted Tuesday on charges stemming to September 2020, when one officer allegedly abused a suspect and three others attempted to cover up the incident, according to reports.

The Advocate, a Baton Rouge-based newspaper, reported that officers Douglas Chutz Jr., Todd Thomas and Troy Lawrence Sr. were indicted by a grand jury on charges of obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and malfeasance in office.

Additionally, Martele Jackson, who allegedly reported the officers’ behavior, was indicted for malfeasance in office.

On Sept. 29, 2020, rap artist NBA YougBoy was among 16 people who were arrested in the state’s capital city on drug and firearm charges.

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Four Baton Rouge police officers were indicted on Tuesday for allegedly covering up the abuse of a suspect by an officer in September 2020. (WAFB)

The rapper’s given name is Kentrell Gaulden, and on the night of the arrests, he was shooting a music video near an abandoned property when police swarmed in.

Gaulden and 15 others were arrested that afternoon, and officers claimed to have confiscated multiple guns.

The chief at the time, Murphy Paul, said in September 2023 that officers used an electric stun gun on a suspect to make him comply when they attempted to conduct a strip search on the man inside a bathroom at a police precinct.

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NBA YoungBoy

Kentrell Gaulden, also known as NBA YoungBoy, was taken into custody during the police raid on a rap video in September 2020 and faces federal gun charges. (Eli Lucero/The Herald Journal via AP)

The publication obtained arrest records and reported one officer informed investigators the man began to scream, and additional officers responded to the bathroom, including Lawrence Sr.

When the stun gun was used, Paul reportedly said, it activated the body cameras of the officers, which captured the suspect getting struck. At the same time, a package reportedly fell from the suspect’s anus, which officers claimed to believe was synthetic marijuana.

The arrest warrant issued for the police officers’ arrests noted the camera was hidden and never returned.

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police car lights

Police raided the filming of a rap video in September 2020, when one officer allegedly used a stun gun on a suspect to get him to comply with a strip search in a bathroom. (iStock)

Despite the incident being captured on video, the officers are accused of conspiring to compose a letter that claimed the camera was missing or lost.

The only officer linked to hitting the suspect was Thomas, the indictment shows.

On Tuesday, District Attorney Hillar Moore said the charges against the other officers are connected to hiding the evidence.

Moore, the Baton Rouge Police Department and Gaulden’s rep did not respond to inquiries from Fox News Digital on the matter.

NBA YoungBoy has had multiple brushes with the law, including on April 16, when he was arrested at his home in Huntsville, Alabama, while on house arrest as he awaited trial for weapons charges stemming from the 2020 music video shoot.

He also faces 63 felonies and misdemeanors related to a fraudulent prescription operation, which included identity fraud, obtaining a prescription under false pretenses, forgery, possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity, and possession of a controlled substance.

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Three others linked to the case are accused of traveling to nearby pharmacies to pick up prescriptions for pills that had been filled on bogus orders from people pretending to be real doctors.

On April 26, additional charges related to the prescription fraud case were filed against Gaulden in Weber County, including a second-degree felony count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person and two Class A misdemeanor counts of distributing a controlled substance. 

He was held without bond in that case.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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