LAPD officer accused of rape faces a separate lawsuit for beating a man nearly to death
Last month I wrote about two Los Angeles police officers who are under investigation for using the threat of jail to force women to have sex with them. Despite several accusations of sexual assault by at least four different women over the course of two years, the LAPD chose to ignore it. And what happens when nothing is done to stop an abusive officer? He abuses more people.
Officer James Nichols, one of the officers under investigation for sexual assault and rape, is also being sued by Brian Mulligan, a man he and another fellow officer beat to nearly to death last May.
Too bad for Nichols, Brian Mulligan is no ordinary person. At the time of the incident Mulligan was a high-level executive at Deutsche Bank. The Hollywood Reporter—whose coverage is sadly far more comprehensive and well researched than the Los Angeles Times—reports that 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.”
The LAPD certainly picked the wrong man to beat up because now Mulligan is suing the City of Los Angeles, the LAPD, their police union and the two officers who put him in the hospital (James Nichols and John Miller) for $20 million. And unlike most victims of police brutality, Mulligan is rich, white and can probably afford the best lawyers money can buy.
This makes no sense given that Mulligan 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,” according to the first sentence of the lawsuit. It continues, “The LAPD was warned about Nichols, but did nothing to stop him, and as a consequence his assaults continued.”
Even the Hollywood Reporter, a publication that covers the entertainment industry, managed to connect the dots:
In January, the Los Angeles Times reported that Nichols is under investigation for allegedly luring women to unmarked cars and forcing them to perform sex acts. The story, based on court documents, claimed that LAPD internal affairs investigators believe Nichols and another officer used the threat of jail to drive women to secluded areas where one of the officers demanded sex while the other kept watch.
The circumstances described in the Times report are similar to those detailed in the Mulligan complaint, minus the sex. Mulligan was arrested May 16 in Highland Park as he allegedly was on his way to a medical marijuana dispensary to pick up THC pills to help him sleep on a business trip. He then was detained by Nichols and Miller, who discovered $3,000 in his car. According to the lawsuit, the officers then took Mulligan to the Highland Park Motel, made him rent a room and tried to extort the money from him.
Mulligan’s complaint argues that “If the LAPD had properly investigated, monitored and supervised this predator, 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 LAPD left Nichols on patrol, where he continued to use his badge and police powers to engage in predatory assaults.”
Furthermore, Mulligan says the LAPD and its police union, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, colluded in a smear campaign against him that cost him his job.
Abusive officers like James Nichols don’t just lose it and accidentally beat the crap out of people. Their is usually a consistent history of abuse. Sadly, the unwritten police code of silence enables abusers like Nichols to maintain their authority positions regardless of repeated misconduct.
Had it not been for Mulligan’s status as a top bank executive, his gruesome beating would likely never have garnered national headlines. Still, in spite of his wealth and power, Mulligan was labeled a “dangerous, delusional drug addict” and his reputation was tarnished. If even he crumbles in the face of police violence, imagine the destruction wrought on communities who are routinely its targets.