Attorney: LAPD Captain’s Stress Over Photo Entitles Her to $8 Million

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A Los Angeles police captain whose requests that the entire department be informed that a widely distributed photo of a topless woman that resembled her was in fact not her image is entitled to $8 million for her emotional distress caused by the lack of appropriate follow-up action by the LAPD, her attorney told a jury Thursday.

Lawyer Gregory W. Smith addressed a Los Angeles Superior Court panel hearing final arguments in LAPD Capt. Lillian Carranza’s harassment case, in which she alleges that her emotional fallout from the photo caused her cardiologist to double her blood pressure medication to ease her anxiety.

Carranza, a 33-year LAPD veteran, alleges in her suit filed in January 2019 that the department did not do enough to prevent the emotional distress she said she continues to suffer since being told about the photo in November 2018, including the LAPD’s denial of her request that a department- wide statement be put out confirming that she was not the person in the photo.

Smith said Chief Michel Moore acknowledged in his own trial testimony that the intent of the photo’s distribution was to cause her injury.

“But he does nothing,” Smith said.

Moore said he refrained from putting out a notice to everyone in the LAPD that the photo was not Carranza because it would have increased her embarrassment by making the existence of the image even more widely known. But Smith argued it is unlikely Carranza would be injured by a statement clearing her name and telling officers that such conduct was inappropriate.

Smith said that while an Internal Affairs probe was conducted, the detective assigned, Stacey Gray, focused only on who was the source of the photo. He said Carranza was not kept up to date on what might be being done about her concerns and that she didn’t even get a call from anyone when she was hospitalized on Christmas Eve 2018 because of her stress.

“Nobody checked in to see how she was doing and this caused tremendous stress,” Smith said.

While Carranza had some stress in her life before the photo surfaced, her psychiatrist, Dr. Brian Jacks, determined that her current condition, which includes thinking about suicide without being close to taking her own life, is 100% attributable to the circulated image, Smith said.

“This will never end for her,” said Smith, who said Carranza deserves $5 million for her past emotional distress treatment and another $3 million for the future.

In his argument, defense attorney Mark Waterman told jurors that no one in Carranza’s workplace expressed any sexual hostility to her about the photo and that the only person who showed it to her was Smith, who sent it to the captain was she was vacationing in Puerto Vallarta.

No one at work teased Carranza about the photo or made inappropriate comments about it, Waterman said.

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