Testimony ends in SBPD Trial

by Lindsey Wallace

The trial of Ruben Lino — a homosexual ex-cop suing the Santa
Barbara Police Department (SBPD) — raged on last week as both sides
battled to prove the real reasons why the department declined to
rehire Lino. While Lino claims it’s because he reported other
officers’ homophobic remarks, department brass staunchly insist
Lino’s credit history disqualified him. The attorney representing
City Hall and the SBPD called a psychologist to the stand who
testified it was Lino’s own anxiety that caused him to complain of
the “cold shoulder” and lack of backup. This anxiety, he said,
began after Lino shot a suspect. (The shooting was not lethal and
followed departmental guidelines.) Just prior to the shooting, Lino
had been involved in an altercation with a man wielding a knife.
Relying on the psychologist’s testimony, the district attorney
argued Lino’s “back-to-back nights of terror” caused cognitive

The plaintiff’s key witness — a retired SBPD background
investigator — testified that the background credit report
conducted on Lino seemed fishy at best. He suggested that the
sergeant who prepared the report must have been pressured to create
a reason to not rehire Lino, noting that he was promoted to
lieutenant shortly afterward. Lino’s attorney also presented an
email in which an SBPD officer questioned Lino’s loyalty and
commitment, and claimed he disrupted the department by leaving.
When questioned by Lino’s attorney, the officer involved could not
explain his comments. The jury is expected to hear closing
arguments later this week.


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