WBRZ Reporter Says He Was ‘Humiliated’ by Police in Lawsuit

By Kevin Eck 

WBRZ reporter Brett Buffington has filed a federal lawsuit against the Baton Rouge Police Department saying he was “humiliated and intimidated” during his arrest last year.

The Advocate reports Buffington was strip-searched and made to watch a prison rape video after his arrest on felony and misdemeanor counts of interfering with an officer and intimidating a public official last May.

“Buffington’s ability to perform his duties as an investigative reporter has been seriously hindered,” says Buffington’s attorneys in the lawsuit. “He can no longer effectively work with the Baton Rouge Police due to his fear of unlawful arrest.”


The arrest happened after both Buffington and Trey Schmaltz, who was ep for the Baton Rouge, La., ABC affiliate at the time, were detained by Officer Clifton Crouch for taking pictures of a crime scene.

Crouch prepared a misdemeanor summons for both reporters, removed their handcuffs and told them they were free to leave, according to the suit, but after Buffington said in a “calm tone” to Crouch, “I hope you enjoy the rest of your career,” Crouch threatened to fire a Taser at Buffington and said, “You just talked yourself into a felony.”

Crouch again handcuffed Buffington and put him back into the police car.

After 10 hours of detention, the suit says, Buffington was released on bail.

While at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, Buffington alleges in the suit he was taken into a room to watch a prison rape video, “suggesting he may be raped while he was in custody.”