Brian Mulligan

Brian Mulligan leaves the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building after making opening statements on Tuesday. (Cheryl A. Guerrero / Los Angeles Times / January 21, 2014)

Federal jurors deliberating an excessive-force and civil rights case of a former Hollywood executive against the LAPD on Friday asked to inspect the baton of an officer he says severely beat him.

The request from the eight-person jury came before the lunch break on the first day of deliberations.

Brian Mulligan, a former co-chairman of Universal Pictures and onetime Deutsche Bank vice chairman, suffered multiple nose fractures, a broken shoulder blade and a bloody scalp after two Los Angeles police officers took him into custody in Highland Park in May 2012, he says.

Mulligan's attorney, Louis “Skip” Miller, said Thursday in closing arguments that his client's testimony and medical evidence show he was struck in the face with a baton by officer James Nichols, the Los Angeles Times reports.

A baton also was used to break Mulligan's shoulder blade as his hair was torn from his scalp during an early morning encounter on Meridian Avenue, Miller said.

His baton was the one jurors asked to inspect.

Nichols testified during trial that he never even took his baton out of his police cruiser the night of the incident.

Nichols and his partner, officer John Miller, testified that Mulligan appeared to be under the influence of bath salts, a synthetic stimulant, and was violent.

Miller, the attorney, conceded his client had previously used bath salts -- a legal drug designed to be like cocaine or methamphetamine -- but was not under the influence of the drug that night.

Denise Zimmerman, an attorney representing the city and Miller, said Mulligan was never hit with a baton in the head.

“Brian Mulligan was in the midst of a drug-induced psychosis on the night of May 15, 2012,” she said, noting Mulligan told officers he had taken bath salts four days before.

Zimmerman said much of the night’s events were made up by Mulligan.

“It was like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride,” she said.

-- Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times

richard.winton@latimes.com


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