NEW ORLEANS -- Two New Orleans Police Department officers were charged in separate cases Tuesday with battery and malfeasance in office.
Both allegedly struck a handcuffed person in unrelated incidents.
Lt. Michael Field, a 28-year NOPD veteran,was charged in the alleged beating last year of a 19-year-old man in the French Quarter.
Officer Jamal Kendrick was charged in a separate incident from October.Kendrick, 43, graduated from the police academy in 2010.
Their criminal charges were filed today via a bill of information, according to Christopher Bowman, spokesman for the Orleans Parish District Attorney's office. Bowman declined to comment further about the cases.
In Field's case, the beating allegedly took place inside the NOPD's Eighth District station in the French Quarter. The victim, Dylan Driggers, filed a federal civil suit last month against the city, the NOPD, and several officers, including Fields.
Driggers claimed he was celebrating Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street when police handcuffed him and took him to the Eighth District Station on a charge of public intoxication. There, officers harassed him and struck him several times while handcuffed, the lawsuit states.
At one point, he was knocked unconscious, according to the lawsuit. Driggers claims several officers watched and failed to step in and that Officer Field showed off his knuckles and bragged about beating him.
Driggers also alleged that several other NOPD officers, including Commander Jeff Walls, destroyed surveillance footage that showed the beating. Another cop allegedly wrote a false and misleading report regarding the incident, the lawsuit states.
An NOPD news release issued Tuesday night noted that 'more than one' officer reported the incident to the internal affairs unit, the Public Integrity Bureau. The NOPD conducted an internal investigation and handed their findings over to the District Attorney's office.
Kendrick's case stems from an altercation in October, according to the NOPD. Kendrick pulled over a motorist following a vehicle chase. The police car recorder showed him handcuffing, then striking the man, according to the news release. The Public Integrity Bureau investigated the incident.
Court records show Kendrick was also arrested and booked for simple battery in December 1991, though prosecutors refused the case shortly later.
The NOPD news release stated that both officers will be placed on emergency suspension tomorrow.