'Four white officers come out of the car with guns drawn,' says lawyer for LSU's Koy Moore
BATON ROUGE - The attorney for LSU wide receiver Koy Moore said a Baton Rouge Police bodycam video matches his client's accusations of police harassment.
"It was not similar," Ryan Thompson of the Baton Rouge public defender's office said Thursday. "It was 100 percent, spot on accurate. It's inexplicable. Two college-age kids are about to get in their own vehicle and go to Cane's. Then four white police officers come out of the car with guns drawn."
Thompson, who is representing Moore, said he was allowed to view the footage, courtesy of police chief Murphy Paul. He is trying to get the footage released to the public and considering a civil lawsuit against the police department.
Moore's accusations spelled out on his Twitter account from an incident early Sunday morning resulted in three officers being placed on administrative leave Monday by Paul, pending an internal affairs investigation.
Moore described four officers harassing him and Alabama wide receiver Traeshon Holden in the Ion apartment complex parking garage near the LSU campus. Thompson said they were trying to leave the complex after 1:30 a.m. to get something to eat at a nearby Raising Cane's restaurant, which is open until 3:30 a.m.
"The officers repeatedly say, 'Where's the guns? Where's the drugs?' The two kids didn't say or do anything that warranted that level of force," Thompson said. "And there were no guns or drugs."
Police were responding to a complaint called in about loud music being played at a party on the roof of the LSU student-populated apartment complex at 740 West Chimes with approximately 200 people, according to a police report.
"These kids were not at the party," Thompson said. "They were not drunk. These kids are well-oiled machines. They looked alert. The police didn't say they smelled marijuana or alcohol and didn't ask if they had been drinking. Just, 'Where's the guns? Where's the drugs?' "
Moore said one of the officers unzipped Moore's pants looking for a weapon, and Moore said he felt violated.
Holden, a freshman wide receiver for the Crimson Tide, is a friend of Moore's from various elite prospect camps they went to together while being recruited nationwide in high school. Holden signed with Alabama as a four-star prospect out of a possible five stars from Narbonne High School in Harbor City, Calif., near Los Angeles.
Thompson is not representing Holden, but has spoken to his family about the incident.
LSU and Alabama each had open dates last Saturday, and players from both teams were off for the weekend. Holden visited Moore in Baton Rouge. They were playing video games until late Saturday night and early Sunday morning, Thompson said.
LSU and Alabama were scheduled to play in Tiger Stadium this Saturday, but the game was postponed because of a recent COVID-19 outbreak on the LSU team. The Southeastern Conference office is trying to find a date to reschedule the game.
Moore told Thompson the harassment stopped only when both he and Holden said they were football players. Neither player was arrested.
"I play football. I'm going to tell Coach O," Thompson said Moore says to police on the video, referring to LSU coach Ed Orgeron.
"Then it stopped," Thompson said. "I believe had they not been so close to campus and not been athletes that bodily harm could have happened to them. Koy believes that there could've been great bodily injury to both he and Traeshon had he not said he was a LSU athlete."
Orgeron spoke about the incident on Monday.
"I met with Koy and his mom this morning to find out exactly what happened," Orgeron said. "We do everything to support Koy and his family. There's no place in America for racism or social injustice. I want to thank Chief Murphy Paul for acting quickly, investigating this."
Thompson has filed a public records request so the public can view the bodycam video. Baton Rouge Police have not released it to the public yet because it is not considered a serious or critical incident as no one was physically injured and the police did not fire guns. In other similar non-critical cases, Baton Rouge Police have delayed releasing bodycam videos for months or years.
"We are trying to get the bodycam released," Thompson said. "I doubt it will be released in the next few days, but we are moving toward that."
Thompson said he was able to view it "because Baton Rouge Police chief Murphy Paul has been very transparent along with the mayor (Sharon Weston Broome)."
Thompson said he believes the video will be released sooner than later.
"We'll look at that closer and continue to pursue our options," he said. "All options are on the table. Civil litigation is one of the options. An apology from the police is the bare minimum."
LSU athletic director Scott Woodward praised Moore on 104.5 FM, the ESPN Radio affiliate in Baton Rouge, on Thursday.
"I'm so proud of Koy Moore and the way he's handled himself in a really stressful and tense situation," Woodward said. "And he's a class kid. We are all empathetic, and we are all really concerned about how we do things. Being a police officer is a very tough thing to do, but you have to be careful in this climate."
Woodward also complimented Baton Rouge Police chief Paul.
"He has been very good, very supportive of Koy and his family," Woodward said. "And I hope we'll get a to a good resolution on this."