Police body cam footage revealed a location in Baton Rouge known as Brave Cave, where it is believed illegal interrogations of criminal suspects occurred. Thousands of suspects have been interrogated there. Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the Baton Rouge Police Department regarding illegal activities alleged to have occurred there.

About Brave Cave

The Baton Rouge Police Department allegedly had a torture warehouse, known as Brave Cave, where they took criminal suspects to interrogate and torture them as part of their investigation into alleged criminal conduct.

A woman recently alleged that during a traffic stop, she was lawfully in possession of the car and two prescription medicines. The police arrested her, took her to Brave Cave, forced to show the officers her vagina and rectum to prove that she was not in possession of any illegal narcotics, then released two hours later without charging her.

Another man was taken to Brave Cave regarding narcotics. He alleged he was also strip searched and his genitals were grabbed. Police beat him, fracturing his rib and causing other injuries. He was charged with resisting arrest as a cover-up. He alleged the body-worn camera from the officers was intentionally turned on and off during the encounter.

The police chief claimed Brave Cave was known as the Narcotics Processing Facility, and he was unaware of any malfeasance at the facility. He has ordered the facility closed and the narcotics unit disbanded. All of the involved officers were reassigned. Additionally, Officer Troy Lawrence, Jr., has resigned based on implications from the above lawsuits, according to news reports.

Legal Analysis

What is the basis for the claim in federal court in the lawsuits? The case would be determined by applying the case of Monell v. Department of Social Services 436 U.S. 658 (1978). The holding in Monell is local governments, like cities and counties, can be sued for 42 USC 1983 liability for monetary, declaratory, or injunctive relief in cases where the action that allegedly caused the violation of a person’s federal rights was a result of a governmental policy or custom. We often discuss the failure to train and supervise. However, Monell has been extended to include a de facto custom or policy, meaning the actions of the officers are so widespread, so accepted, and so often occurring, that custom has become the policy of the municipality.

Brave Cave is a clear example of a de facto custom or policy of officers taking suspects where they barely have reasonable suspicion to stop and frisk, if at all, and transporting suspects to a warehouse to torture them. Brave Cave is a clear Monell violation, and the chief of police should start sending out his resume.

Brian J. Zeiger, Esquire, is an experienced and successful criminal defense and civil rights attorney. He is a seasoned trial lawyer with significant experience before juries and judges. Brian understands civil rights cases, including Taser, Wrongful Death, Excessive Force, Police Brutality, Police Misconduct, Malicious Prosecution, Monell Claims, Sexual Assault, Prisoner’s Rights, Time Credit, Medical Malpractice, and Medical Indifference.