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LA cop at center of rape investigation now being sued for police brutality

Published time: February 09, 2013 04:54
Edited time: February 09, 2013 08:54
Police officers stand guard in Los Angeles, California (AFP Photo / Joe Klamar)

Police officers stand guard in Los Angeles, California (AFP Photo / Joe Klamar)

­An LA police officer under investigation over claims he threatened women with jail time if they refused to have sex with him is now being sued by a man he and another officer beat nearly to death after trying to extort money from him last May.

Officer James Nichols is included with the City of Los Angeles, the LAPD, the police union and John Miller, another officer, in a $20 million lawsuit brought by Brian Mulligan, a former finance executive. Mulligan alleges that Nichols and Miller nearly killed him last year.

Mulligan's lawsuit claims that in addition to the beating, the LAPD and its union engineered a smear campaign against him that resulted in him losing his job.

Mulligan “suffered a broken shoulder blade and facial fractures requiring several surgeries at the hands of police officers after they stopped him in the city’s Highland Park neighborhood and forced him to check into a local motel and stay there against his will," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The plaintiff was an upper-level executive at Deutsche Bank at the time, Dispatches from the Underclass reports, and unlike many victims of police brutality in the US, is a wealthy white man.

Following the violent incident, Mulligan was called a "dangerous, delusional drug addict" by authorities.

However, there's more to the case: papers filed as part of Mulligan's suit say he is suing the LAPD for "knowingly harbor[ing] among its officers a serial predator, Officer James Nichols ('Nichols'), who has a history of using threats, fear and his badge to abduct and assault people.”

Referring to a January 2013 Los Angeles Times report, Mulligan's case paperwork continues, ”The LAPD was warned about Nichols, but did nothing to stop him, and as a consequence his assaults continued.”

The Los Angeles Times had reported in January, citing court documents, that Nichols was being investigated over claims that he forced women to perform sex acts on him after luring them into his unmarked police car. That report showed that Nichols was suspected of collaborating with another officer to threaten women with jail time if they didn't drive to secluded areas of town with them. While one would demand sex, the other would keep guard.

In Mulligan's case, he was detained by Nichols and Miller on his way to a medical marijuana dispensary on May 16 of 2012. After finding $3,000 in Mulligan's car, the lawsuit alleges that the officers took Mulligan to a motel, forced him to get a room for the night, and tried to extort the money out of him.

If the LAPD had properly investigated, monitored and supervised this predator," Mulligan's case papers read, "he would have been off the street long before May 15, 2012, and the setup and brutal beating of Brian Mulligan would not have occurred.”

Instead, the lawsuit claims, “The LAPD left Nichols on patrol, where he continued to use his badge and police powers to engage in predatory assaults.”