Lawyers for the city of Los Angeles say attorneys representing a former training officer for ex-LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner aren’t entitled to view all of the investigative reports and personnel records involving the late rogue officer and want a judge to impose limits on what is released.

Christopher Dorner. Photo via Wikimedia
Dorner killed himself in a 2013 standoff with police in San Bernardino County. Sgt. Teresa Evans alleges in a lawsuit filed last October that she is being made a scapegoat because of the racial connotations attached to Dorner’s claims before he died. Evans is White and Dorner was black.

Evans’ attorneys want investigative files and Dorner’s personnel records to help them prepare their client’s case for trial.

But the City Attorney’s Office filed court papers Thursday stating that the information sought by Evans’ lawyers is “impermissible overbroad.” They are asking Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Stern to put restrictions on access to the records. A hearing is scheduled for July 15.

Dorner, who lived with his mother in La Palma, promised warfare on LAPD officers and their families for what he believed was his unjustified termination. The 33-year-old Navy reserve officer killed four people during his nearly one-week run from authorities, including the daughter of an LAPD captain and her fiance.

He died a few days later from a self-inflicted gunshot wound during a February 2013 confrontation with authorities at a cabin in the San Bernardino Mountains community of Angelus Oaks.

Dorner reported Evans to LAPD supervisors for allegedly kicking a suspect three times in 2007. In 2009, the LAPD found in favor of Evans.

“Here, plaintiff wants the full investigative file … which encompasses the investigation of a complaint by a third party of alleged misconduct by plaintiff and Dorner from over five years ago,” the City Attorney’s Office court papers state.

Because the investigation into Dorner’s complaints against Evans resulted in her exoneration and the firing of Dorner, it is unclear why the plaintiff’s lawyers now need access to the file, according to the City Attorney’s Office.

“In other words, this investigation file holds no relevance to justify invading the privacy concerns of Dorner and the city,” the city attorney’s court papers state.

But Leila K. Al Faiz, one of Evans’ lawyers, says in a sworn declaration that LAPD Chief Charlie Beck “made the unprecedented decision to reopen Dorner’s complaint, although the matter had been adjudicated and closed.”

Al Faiz believes Beck “had no legitimate reason to reopen the complaint after it was thoroughly investigated and adjudicated” and that Evans was “punished by the LAPD for being white because of the racial implications of Dorner’s allegations against plaintiff and the department.”

Dorner was charged with making false statements against a fellow officer. The LAPD decided to fire him in September 2008 for lying about the incident and he was formally terminated in February 2009.

Before his death, Dorner wrote an online manifesto on his Facebook page, threatening to harm police officials and their families. Part of what Dorner wrote dealt with his accusations of alleged excessive force by Evans.

Her lawsuit maintains she was harassed by LAPD supervisors due to the “racial tension sparked by Dorner” and because of her complaints that she was being discriminated against because of her race.

The suit states she was denied overtime and transferred from a prestigious assignment to one with less stature. Evans says her ability to earn a promotion was “completely destroyed” in the aftermath of Dorner’s claims.

“Because (Evans) was a Caucasian, she was subjected to adverse employment actions by the department as a result of the allegations made against her by Dorner,” the suit states. “This despite the fact that he was terminated for his own misconduct which had no connection to plaintiff.”

Evans claims the LAPD knew about past misconduct by Dorner while working for the department. The officer accidentally shot himself in the hand, assaulted a classmate during LAPD training, lied about being in military combat and failed the department’s psychological exam, her suit alleges.

— City News Service

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