Attorneys for a freelance cameraman who alleges Beverly Hills Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli ran over his foot during an interview filed a claim against the city, it was announced Thursday.
Jacob Rogers alleges that at about 9:15 a.m. on April 16, he approached Spagnoli in front of a post office on Maple Drive to ask about an officer in her department who had allegedly slandered another photographer. As the conversation ended, Spagnoli got into her vehicle, “and while being interviewed on camera, rolled over” Roger’s foot, according to the claim, which seeks unspecified damages.
Keith Sterling, spokesman for the city of Beverly Hills, denied Spagnoli ran over the videographer’s foot.
“At this time, it is our understanding that an individual approached Chief Spagnoli wanting to discuss a complaint he had filed concerning a previous encounter with an officer of the Beverly Hills Police Department,” according to a statement from Sterling.
“The chief, out of a desire to be open and accessible, engaged him in conversation, which he recorded with a video camera,” according to Sterling. “However, when the individual became increasingly agitated and hostile, the chief called for support from additional police officers, and ultimately decided it was appropriate to defuse the situation by politely terminating the conversation. She has expressed confidence that she did so carefully and did not injure this individual in any way. If we receive information that suggests further inquiry is warranted, we will act accordingly.”
Rogers contends he was injured, suffering contusions, swelling and injuries to his foot as a result of the alleged incident, according to the claim, which was filed Wednesday. He alleges he has been unable to work and has been treated by a doctor, who recommended a walking boot and a crutch, according to the claim.
Spagnoli, who was in full uniform at the time, “negligently and/or intentionally” ran over Rogers’ foot, the claim alleges.
Attorneys for Rogers provided a video clip taken by the cameraman showing Spagnoli attempting to drive away, but it does not show the car running over his foot. A surveillance clip apparently from the post office made available by BHPD shows the two engaging in conversation before Spagnoli gets in her car and tries to drive away before Rogers jumps back. That clip also does not show the videographer apparently being injured.