After Strip Search, Reporter Sues Baton Rouge Police

A WBRZ Reporter is suing the Baton Rouge Police after he claims he was  strip-searched and forced to watch a prison rape video.

FTVLive told you back in May that WBRZ Reporter Brett Buffington (really that's his name) was arrested after cops say he was  interfering with a law enforcement investigation.

Buffington was booked on counts of interfering with an officer and intimidating a public official.

Buffington now contends he was “humiliated and intimidated” by Officer Clifton Crouch’s actions May 29, and he’s seeking damages for alleged violations of his First Amendment rights and for an allegedly unreasonable seizure, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and defamation.

Even though the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office decided not to prosecute Buffington on the misdemeanor and felony counts on which he was booked, the reporter says the damage is done.

“Buffington’s ability to perform his duties as an investigative reporter has been seriously hindered. He can no longer effectively work with the Baton Rouge Police due to his fear of unlawful arrest,” Buffington’s attorneys, Amy Newsom and Franz Borghardt, state in the suit filed in Baton Rouge federal court and assigned to U.S. District Judge James Brady.

The lawyers argue Buffington will never be able to apply for another job without having to explain why he was arrested on a felony charge while carrying out his duties as a reporter.

Baton Rouge police spokesman Sgt. Don Coppola and WBRZ news director Lee Polowczuk both declined comment on the pending litigation.

Polowczuk said the station is not a party to the suit.

H/T The Advocate