What to Know
- A LAPD commander accused of being drunk in public has taken legal action against the Glendale Police Department, claiming wrongful arrest.
- Nicole Mehringer filed a governmental claim Wednesday that accuses unnamed Glendale officers and two sergeants of false arrest.
- A claim has to be filed with the city before a lawsuit can be filed in state court.
A Los Angeles Police Department commander accused of being drunk in public has taken legal action against the Glendale Police Department, claiming her detention during a driving-under-the-influence investigation was improper.
Nicole Mehringer filed a governmental claim Wednesday that accuses unnamed Glendale officers and two sergeants of false arrest, false imprisonment, defamation, and other alleged harms during the incident on Brand Boulevard.
A claim has to be filed with the city before a lawsuit can be filed in state court. The Glendale Police Department said it generally does not comment on pending lawsuits or legal cases but officials there said they had not seen Mehringer's claim as of late Wednesday.
Mehringer, who's been on leave from her job at the LAPD, was sleeping in the passenger seat of an unmarked police sedan on April 27. An LAPD sergeant, James Kelly, was in the driver's seat, according to Glendale police.
Mehringer's claim said Glendale officers captured the incident with digital audio recorders, and said the officers were recorded discussing using pepper spray or other force to remove Mehringer and Kelly from the car. A bystander recorded video of the incident that showed two officers carrying Mehringer away from the car.
The same video showed Kelly undergoing a field sobriety test. Tahnee Lightfoot, a Glendale police spokeswoman, initially said the arrests came as part of a DUI investigation of a parked car.
Glendale police later released a statement that said, "Nicole Mehringer was detained (not arrested) for public intoxication and taken into custody. She was later released after several hours. "James Kelly was arrested on suspicion of DUI and was later released pending a court appearance," the city said.
The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office charged Mehringer in September with one misdemeanor count of public intoxication and Kelly with one count of driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and one count of driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol content, according to a criminal complaint.
Both pleaded not guilty.
An internal LAPD trial panel, called a Board of Rights, was said to be meeting this week to discuss how to resolve Mehinger's alleged violations of department rules stemming from the same incident, a law enforcement source told NBC4.