Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Former Baton Rouge, Louisiana Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Civil Rights Violation

WASHINGTON – Nathan Davis, a former police officer with the Baton Rouge Police Department in Baton Rouge, La., pleaded guilty today to a felony civil rights violation for use of excessive force, announced David R. Dugas, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana, and Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. At today’s court hearing, defendant Davis admitted that he intentionally used excessive force in March 2007 against a man who had been arrested, handcuffed and taken to a police department holding center.

Davis admitted that he purposefully used excessive and unreasonable force against B.T, a man who at the time of the abuse was handcuffed and sitting on the floor of a detention cell, by pepper spraying him in the face without any justification. Davis faces a maximum of ten years in prison. The court has not yet scheduled sentencing.

"When a police officer, like the defendant, misuses his authority to abuse a person entrusted to his care, he violates the public trust and he makes it more difficult for other law enforcement officers to do their very difficult jobs," Acting Assistant Attorney General King said. "The Civil Rights Division is committed to the vigorous enforcement of federal laws prohibiting this type of misconduct by law enforcement officials."

U.S. Attorney Dugas said "No one in this country, including law enforcement officers, is above the law."

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Baton Rouge Police Department and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Piedrahita and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Kathleen Monaghan.

Press Release Number: 
Updated September 15, 2014