U.S. Justice Dept. clears BRPD officers of Post-Katrina allegations

Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - 11:08pm

BATON ROUGE, La. (FOX44) Some Baton Rouge Police Officers have been cleared from some pretty serious accusations.

The U.S. Justice Department was investigating complaints made by New Mexico and Michigan State Police claiming uniformed BRPD officers were racist and used unnecessary brutality when dealing with Hurricane Katrina Evacuees.

All those agencies joined together after the storm hit.

BRPD conducted an investigation of their own and claim their officers didn't do anything wrong.

Tuesday, the Justice Department closed the case, saying they found no wrongdoings.

Former Police Chief Jeff Leduff and Interim Chief Charles Mondrick released a joint statement after that announcement:

"Upon being informed that the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division has concluded its investigation into alleged misconduct by Baton Rouge Police Officers following Hurricane Katrina, former Chief Jeff LeDuff and current interim Chief Charles Mondrick, who was Commander of the Uniformed Patrol Division at the time, released the following joint statement:

"We were pleased, but certainly not surprised, to learn that the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department has concluded its investigation and found no wrongdoing by our officers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This reaffirms the results of our own thorough internal investigation, conducted over five years ago.
Our extensive investigation then found that allegations of misconduct made against our department actually represented only a handful of isolated incidents, and appropriate corrective disciplinary action was taken against the small number of officers involved in those few instances that were substantiated.
Our investigation did not find a pattern of abuse or unnecessary force, nor did it uncover any evidence of officers violating citizens’ civil rights. We found in 2005, and still believe now, that the vast majority of our officers demonstrated courage, commitment and professionalism throughout the response to Hurricane Katrina. We are gratified that the Justice Department has now conducted its own independent 'full and thorough review' and reached the same conclusion."

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