But he was disciplined for a low body camera battery.
Stealing a car and taking it for a joyride is illegal, plain and simple. Except, apparently, if you're an officer in the Baton Rouge Police Department. Not only did this happen but the vehicle in question was a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. According to Louisiana news channel WBRZ, Officer Kendarius Franklin, a rookie, took the 707-horsepower muscle car for a joyride while on a shots-fired call. The incident took place earlier this year and became public following an investigative report by the news network.
Officer Franklin was responding to a call claiming gunshots had been fired in a local neighborhood. Upon arriving at the scene, he determined there were no shots fired nor was there a gun.
What really happened was whoever called in the report mistook the Hellcat's exhaust for gunfire. Once Franklin made this determination, he decided to take the Hellcat for a spin without the owner's permission, according to witnesses on the scene. All they could do was watch in disbelief at the unprofessional conduct. Internal Affairs became aware of the incident and opened an investigation after a fellow officer turned in Franklin.
Residents clearly weren't the only ones shocked by what happened. But instead of punishing Franklin for unauthorized use of the sedan, he was disciplined only because his body camera's battery was low.
He was given a "conference worksheet," which is really nothing more than a light slap on the wrist. Sources familiar with the investigation say Franklin should have been charged for unauthorized use of a movable vehicle.
"I think if it was a regular civilian there would have been a way harsher punishment, and everyone should be held to the same account," said a local resident who lives near where the joyride took place. "If you do the crime you do the time as they say." Unfortunately, the BRPD had no comment.