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Former Deutsche Bank executive's trial against LAPD in beating case starts

January 21, 2014|By Richard Winton | By Richard Winton

A judge will allow a recording of a former Hollywood and banking executive acknowledging he used bath salts to be used only for impeachment purposes in his civil rights trial against Los Angeles police for beating him during an arrest.

U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner made the decision Tuesday as the civil rights and excessive force case against the LAPD began Tuesday for La Cañada resident Brian Mulligan, a former Universal and Deutsche Bank executive.

The decision means Mulligan's statements to Glendale police two days before the LAPD arrest could be used only if he contradicts them in court, the Los Angeles Times reports.

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The judge also decided the eight-person jury will not hear allegations that one of the officers Mulligan says beat him, James Nichols, was under investigation for sex acts with women informants unless they first find excessive force was used.

At the time of the alleged beating incident, Nichols was under investigation for misconduct in the LAPD's Hollywood Division.

Events unfolded in the May 2012 beating when officers responded to reports of a man trying to get into locked cars. They came upon Mulligan, who was on his way to an Eagle Rock marijuana dispensary, in the street and stopped him.

They found in his car what appeared to be bath salts, a synthetic substance not illegal to possess but that can cause powerful reactions similar to cocaine when ingested, according to a recounting of events by the Police Commission, which oversees the LAPD.

Although officers noticed he was “sweating profusely and appeared unsteady,” they determined Mulligan was not drunk or under the influence of illegal drugs.

Mulligan asked the officers to take him to a motel, according to accounts given by the officers and a police supervisor who was at the scene. They agreed, dropping him off at one nearby.

About an hour later, the same officers saw Mulligan “screaming and dragging a metal trash can in the street,” police reports show. Mulligan ran away from the officers, according to the LAPD's official account of the incident.

The officers chased Mulligan and found him snarling, thrashing and swiping at them as if he believed his hands were claws. They claimed Mulligan charged at them. The officers said they pushed him to the ground and kicked and struck him in the torso with a baton, according to police records.

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