Koy Moore, the Tigers’ freshman receiver, was accompanied by Alabama freshman wideout Traeshon Holden, an attorney for Moore told Sports Illustrated on Thursday.
Baton Rouge Police approached the two athletes inside a parking complex while investigating reports of a party on the complex’s roof. Moore announced details of the encounter in a tweet Sunday, claiming police approached him aggressively, pulling their weapons, accusing him of possessing a gun and even attempting to unzip his pants. Moore did not mention the fellow SEC athlete tagging along with him.
One of Moore’s attorneys, Ryan Thompson, said the two players are longtime friends who played travel football together. They were not attending the alleged party but had been playing video games in Moore’s apartment. He lives at the complex.
“These kids did nothing wrong,” says Thompson, who saw footage of the police bodycam. “To see Black student-athletes treated in this manner was very concerning to me as a Black man and as a parent.”
LSU and Alabama were off last weekend before they were scheduled to play in Baton Rouge, an annual SEC West showdown slated this year to follow Masters golf tournament coverage with a primetime spot on CBS. However, because of COVID-related issues at LSU, the game was postponed.
Holden’s presence in Baton Rouge came while the Tigers were battling COVID issues. The team first learned of COVID positives last week. Thompson says he is not representing Holden in an official capacity, but they are in discussions about that. An Alabama spokesperson could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
“Coach [Ed Orgeron] and LSU have been very supportive of Koy,” Thompson says. “They agreed with Koy and his position. The institution and coach has his back. You’ll have to call Alabama about their situation.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban has been one of the more outspoken proponents of COVID-related protocols, often describing his team as attempting to operate in a “bubble.” The Tide had one player test positive this week. Saban allowed his players to take off last weekend. Asked about that during a teleconference Wednesday, Saban said, “Everyone trusts their family. I trust my family. But no one knows where Uncle Tommy has been.”
Koy’s attorneys are calling for the Baton Rouge Police Department to release to the public the bodycam footage, which shows the encounter in detail. Thompson did not rule out a potential civil suit. “Nothing is off the table,” Thompson says. “Koy was searched repeatedly, which he felt was a violation of his human and civil rights. Once Trae alerted the officers they were football players, that's when the interaction stopped.”
According to The Advocate in Baton Rouge, a police report says BRPD officers responded to 740 West Chimes St., the address for the apartment complex, after complaints of a large gathering around 1:45 a.m. Sunday. The caller reported about 200 people on the rooftop playing loud music. The party had dispersed by the time officers arrived, according to the report.
The department announced Monday that the three officers had been placed on administrative leave pending the results of an internal affairs investigation. That came after public statements from both the mayor's office and Orgeron expressing support for Moore.