Baton Rouge, LA — The taxpayers of Baton Rouge were quietly put on notice this week that they will be footing the bill for the acts of several Baton Rouge police officers. After conducting an illegal traffic stop, the officers stripped a man and his teen brother completely nude, while groping their genitals on the side of the road before driving to their home and illegally searching it.
Body camera footage of the officers’ crimes was released as part of a settlement paid out to Clarence Green and his family after their rights were trampled by Baton Rouge’s finest. The measly $35,000 settlement, however, will most assuredly not undo the trauma of being publicly humiliated, sexually assaulted, and imprisoned. Instead, it serves as a testament to the untouchable nature of criminal cops and the violations they can commit with no accountability all in the name of the drug war.
Clarence Green’s nightmare started on January 1, 2020, when officers led by Sgt. Ken Camallo targeted him for harassment. Camallo claimed Green was parked in front of a “known drug house,” so when Green and his family got in their car to leave, Camallo pulled them over for “suspicious driving.”
Kayleen Butler was driving the vehicle, Clarence Green was riding shotgun, and in the backseat were Green’s 16-year-old brother, another unnamed passenger, and a young child. When Camallo illegally stopped the vehicle, he immediately ordered everyone out of the car.
Camallo then claimed to have “smelled marijuana” so Green and his teen brother were both handcuffed. As the infuriating body camera footage shows, the officers then completely expose Green and the teen’s genitals in broad daylight on a public roadway before groping their private parts. It was an unlawful strip search and borderline sexual assault and when questioned about their actions by Green, an officer responded, “we can do this.”
But they could not.
During this unlawful stop and search, police found a gun in Green’s possession, which is entirely legal in the state of Louisiana, except that Green was on probation for possession of drugs, which prohibited him from having a firearm. Police also claimed to find marijuana on Green’s teen brother. It was in his pocket, however, not behind his genitals where they were looking.
After strip searching the two young men on the roadside, the officers took their unlawful detainment to the next level by going to Green’s home. “Sgt. transported GREEN and his co-defendant juvenile brother to their residence (REDACTED) in an attempt to release the juvenile to his mother,” according to the initial incident report, as published by Reason Magazine.
Before releasing the child to his mother, however, cops entered the Green residence with guns drawn and conducted yet another search, again without a warrant. They went room to room, with guns out. Luckily, a hiding child was not shot and killed.
After they searched the residence, police attempted to collect a DNA sample from the child without his mother’s consent. While attempting to collect the sample, Green shouts from the back of the police cruiser for his brother to “call a lawyer.”
This enraged one of the officers who then threatened to “f**k up” Green for asserting his rights.
“If you don’t shut the f**k up,” responded Officer Troy Lawrence Jr., “I’m gonna come in and I’m gonna f**k you up…You think I’m playing with you?” he said to reiterate his threat of violence, “I will f**k you up.”
Green would later be arrested and spend the next several months in jail for unlawful possession of a firearm. However, the state would eventually drop the charges with a federal judge who presided over Green’s case, allowing the request.
After dropping the charges, the judge tore into the officers involved, calling their actions an “abject violation” of Green and his brother’s rights.
“The state agents in this case demonstrated a serious and wanton disregard for Defendant’s constitutional rights, first by initiating a traffic stop on the thinnest of pretext, and then by haphazardly invading Defendant’s home (weapons drawn) to conduct an unjustified, warrantless search,” wrote Judge Brian A. Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. “Such an intrusion, in abject violation of the protections afforded by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which protects citizens against unwarranted governmental intrusions in their homes, may justifiably be considered to be a trespass subject to prosecution under” Louisiana law.
Citing the officer’s conflicting accounts about the circumstances leading up to the traffic stop, Jackson found Camallo’s testimony “troubling at best.” He also pointed out that Camallo’s incident report had been revised multiple times with facts changing on every instance.
Thomas Frampton, who represented the family in their legal action against the city, pointed out that Camallo has a history of such rights violations and lies, yet he’s never been fired or even disciplined.
Not until there was body camera evidence of him stripping a child naked on the roadside and groping his genitals did Camallo get a slap on the wrist in the form of internal discipline. He is still a cop and still on the streets. None of the other officers involved in the stop, including officer Lawrence, who threatened to “f**k up” Green, have faced any discipline at all.
Sadly, this is par for the course in American policing.
“The video is horrifying,” Frampton said. “It shows a form of ritualized humiliation and contempt for civil rights that, based on the lack of response from BRPD and District Attorney Hillar Moore, apparently has official sanction. These aren’t bad apples; these are some of the best officers on the force. It’s a miracle someone didn’t get killed . . . this time.”