January 4, 2024 | By: FOX 8 Staff | fox8live.com
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – A New Orleans Police Officer has been reassigned amid an internal investigation into a complaint that he was using narcotics on duty.
Sources tell Fox 8 that Officer Maurice Bailey was caught on his body-worn camera smoking illegal narcotics inside of his police cruiser while on duty.
The NOPD’s Public Integrity Bureau tells Fox 8 it is “investigating a complaint received recently concerning alleged improper activity by an NOPD officer.”
“His body camera catches him smoking what is reported to be a controlled dangerous substance while on duty. That’s the subject of the investigation,” said Rafael Goyeneche, President of the Metropolitan Crime Commission.
Independent Police Monitor Stella Cziment confirmed the allegations.
“My understanding is the department identified this potential misconduct quickly, acted swiftly, and took the appropriate actions under policy regarding this incident. And the department is now asking critical questions both of this individual and all employees about whether or not there are any other concerns,” Cziment said.
Bailey, 27, who joined the force one year ago and had been working in the Seventh District in New Orleans East, has been placed on “administrative reassignment” as of mid-December pending the PIB’s findings.
If the allegations are verified and Bailey is terminated, Fox 8 Legal Analyst Joe Raspanti says any cases Bailey has been cited as a main witness could come into question.
“In my experience in the past, those cases he made are usually jettisoned,” Raspanti said. “If he’s, especially the main arresting officer on a case, if you’re a defense attorney worth your salt you’re going to say, ‘Hey, Mr. DA, when I cross examine that guy, I’m bringing all of this up.’”
Goyeneche said, even if the allegations are found to be true, Bailey would likely not face any criminal charges due to the administrative nature of the investigation.
“If there was going to be the potential for criminal violation, he would have had to have been mirandized, and to arrest him, he would have had to have made an admission as to what he did, after being mirandized, which is unlikely,” he said. “Or they would have had to have seized the evidence of the substance he was smoking.”