Baton Rouge, LA – Baton Rouge police announced last week that one of their officers will not face any consequences for repeatedly punching a 16-year-old boy in the head while his fellow officers held him down.
According to the Advocate, the internal affairs complaint against the policeman, Sgt. Todd Bourgoyne, was found to be “not sustained” by Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. on August 25, according to police spokesman Lt. Jonny Dunnam, meaning investigators didn’t find evidence of wrongdoing or a violation of department policy.
Investigators claimed that the video showing the officer pound the child’s head repeatedly was apparently ‘insufficient evidence’ to support a complaint against Bourgoyne.
While attending an annual Earth Day celebration, the unarmed 16-year-old high school student was repeatedly punched in the head as five cops ended up holding him face down on the ground. Although the teen was charged with resisting arrest and battery against a police officer, the video clearly shows the boy attempting to protect his head as the cop kept punching him.
During Baton Rouge’s annual Earth Day event on Sunday, a bystander recorded a cell phone video of officers holding 16-year-old Ja’Colby Davis facedown on the grass. Surrounded by five cops, Davis remains on his stomach as one of the officers begins dropping hammer fist strikes against the teen’s face.
After Bourgoyne starts throwing haymakers against the back of the boy’s head, Davis manages to lift his right arm in an attempt to protect his head from more blows. According to the video, the officer punches Davis at least six times in the head before another cop pulls the kid’s arm behind his back and handcuffs the student.
With a police Taser aimed at the back of his head, Davis remained on the ground as five officers held him down to restrain him. Despite the fact that the video does not show Davis attacking any of the cops, the unarmed teen was charged with resisting arrest and battery against a police officer.
According to Davis’ mother, Danielle Todd, her two sons went to the Earth Day celebration when a fight suddenly broke out near them. Police ordered a crowd of people, including Davis and his 14-year-old younger brother, to step back when a cop reportedly grabbed Davis to push him further away. After Davis questioned the officer for grabbing him, the unarmed student was thrown to the ground, punched in the head several times, and arrested.
“I feel like this shouldn’t happen to anyone’s child,” Todd recently told The Rouge Collection. “No parent should have to see a video of police officers beating their child for asking a question.”
In October, all charges against Davis were dropped.
Davis and his family filed a federal lawsuit against the department on Friday, claiming that Bourgoyne and a second officer, Blane Salamoni, arrested Davis without cause and administered a “brutal beating,” according to the Advocate.
Bourgoyne is no stranger to complaints either. According to a FOIA request, the officer was suspended for 3 months in 2000 after he admitted to groping and kissing a woman while responding to her home over a domestic dispute.
“Here you have a kid who’s getting beaten in the head by a police officer, an officer who already has prior disciplinary issues, and he goes and beats this kid in the head,” the lawyer for Davis’ family said. “You’ve seen the video — and then they find no wrongdoing. Some people would say it’s a miscarriage of justice.”
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