DORNER v. LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Four.
Filed October 3, 2011.
While appellant was trying to gain control of the suspect, Sergeant Evans told the subject to stop or she would use the taser. Appellant and the suspect fell into the bushes in the planter box, and the suspect's arm was wedged against a wall. After Sergeant Evans shot Gettler twice with the taser, appellant was able to control Gettler's left wrist and place handcuffs on him. Sergeant Evans went behind the bushes and crouched down to help appellant control Gettler's right arm. After about 30 seconds of struggling, Gettler let the officers handcuff him and said, "Is that what you wanted? Here you go." Sergeant Evans denied kicking Gettler in the face or the shoulder area.
Appellant then helped Gettler stand and placed him in a police car. Sergeant Evans noticed that Gettler had a laceration on his cheek, but no other injuries. There were no boot marks on Gettler's face or shirt and no bruising on his face. When Gettler was taken to the police station, he did not tell the watch commander or a physician, who treated his facial injuries, that he was kicked in the face.
After Gettler was in custody, other officers arrived, including Sergeant Phil Jackson. Sergeant Jackson interviewed Sergeant Evans about the use of force and interviewed other witnesses at the scene.
Sergeant Evans and appellant discussed the incident so appellant could write the arrest report, but she stated that appellant took too long to write the report. Appellant asked Sergeant Evans several questions about how to complete the use of force section, which underwent about three revisions by Sergeant Evans and Sergeant Jackson. Sergeant Evans testified that the revisions were mainly to articulate what specific actions the officers took during the incident because appellant was unfamiliar with the "specific verbiage" used to describe their actions. Appellant reviewed the report before it was turned in to Sergeant Jackson for approval. The use of force report stated that Gettler's injury was consistent with the use of force involved in arresting him and did not state that Sergeant Evans kicked Gettler.
Sergeant Evans previously had told appellant that he needed to take less time in writing arrest reports. She also had indicated in an evaluation that appellant needed to improve in the areas of officer safety and common sense and good judgment. Appellant received the evaluation on August 9, 2007.
Testimony of Christopher Adrid
Adrid was working as a bellman at the DoubleTree Hotel on the date of the incident. He saw Gettler on a bench in the lobby, talking to himself, so he asked Gettler if he was a hotel guest. When Gettler said he was not staying at the hotel, Adrid asked him to sit on a bench outside the hotel.