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Jury rules against banker in LAPD beating lawsuit
Question of the Day
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A former banker and movie executive who said police beat him with batons in a bizarre street confrontation lost his $20 million excessive force claim on Friday against the Los Angeles Police Department.
During the three-day trial, Brian Mulligan acknowledged that he had used a drug mixture known as bath salts in the weeks leading up to the May 2012 incident. Police officers said he appeared delusional, wandering the streets with crumpled $100 bills falling out of his pockets and made animal sounds when they confronted him.
“This guy had gone crazy,” Officer John Miller told jurors. “He’d lost his marbles. I was a bit scared. I’d never seen anybody frothing at the mouth and growling as an adult human being.”
Mulligan, once a globe-trotting executive who logged a million air miles a year, said he was driven to the drug to deal with sleeping problems but denied the substance made him paranoid during the confrontation.
Jurors in federal court deliberated less than three hours before finding that two officers didn’t violate Brian Mulligan’s federal or state civil rights and didn’t batter him.
Mulligan, his lawyers and his wife, Victoria, rushed out of the courtroom and declined to comment to reporters. Jurors also declined to comment.
Defense attorneys and the officers said they were delighted with the decision.
“I’m just extremely happy,” Miller said outside court. “I’m employed. … We did nothing wrong.”
Peter Ferguson, who represented Officer James Nichols, said experts who testified for the plaintiff couldn’t persuade the jury because the officers did nothing wrong.
“These officers have had to live with these allegations for the last year or so,” the lawyer said. “They’re glad they are getting back to work.”
However, Nichols is on leave pending disciplinary hearings in other cases.
The Los Angeles City Council agreed earlier this month to pay $575,000 to settle a lawsuit from a former police informant who alleged Nichols and another officer forced her to have sex. Nichols and the other officer face LAPD disciplinary hearings for this and three similar cases. Nichols has denied wrongdoing.
Miller has no other charges pending against him and has been working throughout the trial.
U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner ruled that Nichols‘ history could not be admitted in court unless he was convicted of the excessive force count and it became an issue in assessing damages.
Mulligan’s suit claimed that he suffered a broken nose and shoulder and other injuries along with mental torture from the unprovoked beating, and that the officers bludgeoned him with their batons.
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