As reported by ABC7, FOX11, NBC, CBS LA and LA Times, Partner Matthew McNicholas filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department (LACSP) on behalf of James Royal, a Detective Lieutenant at the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station who was retaliated against because he wanted the Department to warn the public about multiple shootings that happened in Malibu Creek State Park prior to the fatal shooting of Tristan Beaudette in 2018.
In early 2017, Royal recommended that the public be made aware of three shootings in the previous several months, but was informed that the Sheriffs Department would give no warning. After two additional shootings in 2017, Royal went further up the chain of command to get a public warning. None was given. In June 2018, Beaudette was murdered and in December 2018 Beaudette’s widow filed a $90 million lawsuit against the Department for failing to warn the public about the shootings – the very thing Lt. Royal tried to have done.
“Lt. Royal attempted to discharge his duty to the public and was shut down,” Matt said in his LA Times interview. “When the department actually got sued for failing to do the very thing he begged them to do, we believe they turned the power of the badge against him to shut him down and control him because they know he will soon be a witness in the civil wrongful death lawsuit.”
In McNicholas’ interview with FOX11, he said, “We believe the Department began to circle its wagons to get control of that lawsuit…they are afraid of the Beaudette lawsuit and are trying to get out in front of it.” McNicholas believes that’s when LACSD began retaliating against Royal – stripping him of his detective duties, placing him under investigation, and moving him to 80 miles away to another station. “They take you from a station close to your house and put you two hours away and make you sit in traffic so you can think about it,” added McNicholas.
In his interview with ABC7, McNicholas explained, “This is the gentleman who tried to get a warning out not once, but twice, and failure to warn is the entire basis to the civil wrongful death lawsuit.”