Cop Wanted To Warn Public About Malibu Creek Shooter: Lawsuit

LOS ANGELES, CA — A sheriff’s lieutenant who sued Los Angeles County claiming he was retaliated against when he tried to warn the public about shootings in and around Malibu Creek State Park is moving forward following the conviction last week of Anthony Rauda for that fatal crime spree.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elaine Lu on Tuesday lifted a 2020 hold on Lt. James Royal’s case, days after Rauda was found guilty for the murder of Tristan Beaudette, who was killed in 2018 while camping in the park with his two young daughters.

The judge issued a stay in Royal’s case in 2020 due to the overlap in evidence between the lieutenant’s lawsuit and Rauda’s criminal case.

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Royal claimed he told his supervisors that the Sheriff’s Department needed to warn the public about initial shootings in the park, between November 2016 and January 2017. The lieutenant claimed the department issued no public advisory and that sheriff’s brass believed it was a problem to be dealt with by the state park.

After four additional shootings leading up to Rauda’s killing of Beaudette, Royal claimed he recommended that officials gather at the sheriff’s headquarters and issue a statement, a request he said was denied.

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After Beaudette’s 2018 killing, Royal claimed his supervisors instructed him to spread the department’s official position: That the prior shootings were unrelated to Beaudette’s death.

Royal alleges that he was transferred from the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station to the less-prestigious Santa Clarita station and stripped of his detective status. He said he was also unfairly subjected to an Internal Affairs investigation that damaged his reputation.

The parties are due back in court on June 8.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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