HomeNewsLocalJudge Denies City Motion to Pare LAPD Officer's Tracking Suit

Judge Denies City Motion to Pare LAPD Officer’s Tracking Suit

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A lawsuit filed by a Los Angeles police officer who alleges her high-ranking former LAPD boyfriend secretly tracked her after she ended the relationship in 2023 can proceed, a judge has ruled in denying a defense motion to dismiss most of the plaintiff’s claims.

Officer Dawn Silva’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges gender discrimination and harassment, retaliation and failure to prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation. But in pleadings previously filed with Judge Stephanie M. Bowick, the City Attorney’s Office maintained Silva’s gender discrimination and retaliation claims should be tossed out because she did not suffer a demotion or loss in pay. The judge denied the city’s motion on Wednesday.

“The court finds that these allegations are sufficient to allege an intermediate retaliatory employment action that is reasonably likely to impair a reasonable employee’s job performance, prospects for advancement and/or promotion,” the judge wrote. “The court also finds the allegations that the tracking occurred after plaintiff’s romantic relationship with Assistant Chief Alfred Labrada ended is sufficient to constitute a causal link between the discrimination/retaliation and the adverse employment action.”

Silva joined the LAPD in 2001. In October 2017, the plaintiff and Labrada started a romantic relationship while the plaintiff was assigned to the Police Training and Education Division and Labrada was a Hollenbeck Division captain, according to the suit, which further states that Silva ended the relationship in July 2023 because of its “toxic” nature.

Silva drove to Palm Springs in early September to meet four law enforcement friends and received an email from Labrada with a document attached indicating the official end of their domestic partnership, the suit states. Given the timing of the email and due to other considerations, Silva’s friends believed Labrada knew she was in Palm Springs, the suit further states.

“Upon searching plaintiff’s vehicle, plaintiff’s friends noticed that there was a black Pelican box on the undercarriage of the passenger side of plaintiff’s vehicle,” according to the suit, which further states that one of Silva’s friends found an AirTag in the Pelican case.

The friend later scanned the AirTag and determined that the serial number and owner information associated with the device matched the last four digits of Labrada’s city-issued cell phone, prompting Silva to report the finding to Ontario police, the suit states. Fearing retaliation given Labrada’s ranking, she did not inform the LAPD, according to the complaint brought Feb. 9.

Ontario police took a report from Silva, but she declined to cooperate in a possible sting call to Labrada to see if he would admit to placing the AirTag on her car, the suit states.

Members of the LAPD’s Internal Affairs unit later scanned the AirTag, in which Labrada’s ownership information turned out to have been removed, the suit states.

A subsequent Ontario police search warrant revealed that the AirTag was indeed registered to Labrada’s city-issued cell phone and his LAPD email address, as well as the fact that Labrada had bought the black Pelican case in which the AirTag was found, according to the suit.

Rumors began spreading within the department about the Silva, the AirTag and the plaintiff’s relationship with Labrada, prompting colleagues to send multiple texts inquiring whether everything they were hearing was true, the suit states.

Silva was put on medical leave and Labrada was demoted to commander and assigned home duty as an Internal Affairs investigation began, the suit states.

In October, an Instagram with the username “defendthelapd” posted a story alluding to Silva’s complaint against Labrada with the Office of Inspector General that the plaintiff made against Labrada, according to the suit, which further stated that Labrada was being made a “sacrificial lamb” and that the plaintiff was “lying and pulling a `#MeToo”‘ because she felt she was scorned.

Silva filed for a stay-away order against Labrada in November, according to the suit, which alleges supervisors and the command staff have nonetheless “allowed, permitted, condoned, ratified and enabled” Labrada’s actions against her.

In its court papers in support of the partial dismissal motion, the City Attorney’s Office maintained that Silva cannot credibly argue that the LAPD could stop colleagues from texting her, prevent Labrada from contacting her the department’s stay-away orders or impede an unknown Instagram user from speaking about the officer.

“Assertions to the contrary would require a surveillance apparatus that would make Big Brother from “1984” envious,” the City Attorney’s Office further contended in its court papers.

Trial of Silva’ case is scheduled Nov. 4, 2025.

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