Two ex-Baton Rouge Cops Acquitted of Sex-Related Abuse Won’t Get Police Jobs Back

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Two former Baton Rouge policemen fired in 2014 after their indictment on abuse of office charges but acquitted by a jury earlier this year won’t get their jobs back, the city’s civil service board has ruled.

Ex-officers Travis D. Wheeler, 29, and Emerson J. Jackson, 34, had sought to overturn their firings after being acquitted at a January trial. The pair had been accused of acting as lookouts while a third officer, Isaac Bolden, allegedly coerced a woman to perform a sex act on him while at a BREC park. Bolden was also acquitted.

But the Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board, after hearing two days of emotional testimony from the alleged victim as well as witnesses in the case, voted 4 to 1 last week to uphold Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr.’s decision to fire the officers for “violation of law,” a disciplinary charge leveled against Jackson and Wheeler by Dabadie following their felony indictments in 2014.

Cpl. Robert Moruzzi, a police representative on the board, cast the lone dissenting vote.

An attorney for Jackson and Wheeler, Chris Sonnier, vowed to appeal the board’s decision in court. During the hearing, Sonnier argued that a 19th Judicial District jury’s unanimous “not guilty” verdict in January exonerated both men and should clear them of violating the law in the Baton Rouge Police Department’s disciplinary processes, too.

The board tossed out several additional disciplinary charges against the officers — all for allegedly violating department policies, such as being untruthful and failing to carry out orders — on procedural grounds at the beginning of the two-day hearing. But the board allowed the charge of “violation of laws” to stand.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 2147 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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