The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to weigh in on a civil case in which two Los Angeles police officers were accused of using excessive force against a former Deutsche Bank executive who said he was handcuffed, taken to a hotel and beaten with a baton.
The nation’s high court let stand a ruling that affirmed dismissals of separate claims brought by plaintiff Brian Mulligan against the L.A. Police Protective League and Eric Rose, who was then a media consultant for the police union.
Mulligan sued the LAPD and officers James Nichols and John Miller, alleging they violated his civil rights, used unreasonable force and committed battery during a May 2012 arrest.
Attorneys for the officers successfully argued that Mulligan was out of control on “bath salts” and had attacked them. The civil jury found in favor of the defendants after a three-day trial in January 2014.
Mulligan sued the Protective League and its then-consultant for allegedly retaliating against him by issuing a statement and releasing an audiotape made days previously in which Mulligan admitted to using “bath salts” during an interview with a Glendale police officer.
“We affirm the judgments of the district court,” Judge Richard R. Clifton wrote in the appellate opinion.
“The statements allegedly made against Mulligan as joint state actions by the LAPPL were not sufficiently adverse to support a claim of First Amendment retaliation,” the judge wrote. “Consequently, the district court’s grant of summary judgment for that claim was proper. Similarly, the district court did not err in its decisions regarding Mulligan’s police negligence, excessive force and negligent supervision claims.”
Rose told City News Service he was “grateful” that the Supreme Court ended Mulligan’s appeal by allowing the 9th Circuit rulings to stand.
“As the 9th Circuit wrote in no uncertain terms, the First Amendment constitutional guarantee of free speech applies to public officials, as well as citizens,” Rose said.
—City News Service
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