Attorney demands BRPD body cam footage after witnesses record violent drug arrest
WARNING: The video contains explicit language.
BATON ROUGE - The Baton Rouge Police Department is standing by an officer involved in a violent arrest made last month.
Steven Young was booked Oct. 24 on charges of marijuana possession, illegal carrying of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and resisting arrest.
According to BRPD, an officer stopped to question Young after he spotted him smoking what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette. Young then reportedly passed the cigarette to another person in an effort to conceal it before fleeing.
The arrest report says the officer tased Young to get him under control, but that failed. The report goes on to say Young tussled with officers for several minutes, punching, biting and kicking at law enforcement.
Additional officers soon arrived to provide assistance and it was discovered Young had a loaded .40 caliber pistol hidden beneath his pants.
Video that circulated after Young's arrest appears to show the tail end of his encounter with police. It's unclear in the video whether Young is resisting, but two officers can be seen sitting on top of him. The video also shows one of the officers punching Young, who police confirmed was handcuffed in the front at the time.
Young's attorney is demanding the release of the officer's body camera video.
"I think it's important to the public," Steven Youn's attorney, Ron Haley said. "It's important for trust, and it goes in sprit to what the body cam policy is supposed to be. It's supposed to be transparency. It's not for the convenient but that's not what it appears right now."
Police tell WBRZ that because Young was handcuffed in the front of his body, he was still capable of resisting, thus prompting officers to defend themselves. BRPD says an internal investigation has been conducted and the officer involved was cleared of wrongdoing.
"Once you see this video you will see he resisted espeically when we pulled the gun from his waistband," L'Jean McKneely with Baton Rouge Police said.
Young was treated for his injuries after the encounter, but he was not admitted to the hospital.
Police have refused to release any body camera video, citing the ongoing criminal investigation. But in a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Young's attorney demanded the footage be turned over.
A court hearing in Young's civil case is set for Dec. 4