LA suburb to pay man $750K after cops paint swastika in his car Israel National News Mar 21, 2023, 6:10 PM (GMT+2) City of Torrance settles lawsuit with man who was targeted with swastika by two police officers after being detained in mail theft case. The city of Torrance, California has agreed to pay a man $750,000 after two police officers were accused of spray painting a swastika inside his car three years ago. The Los Angeles suburb signed off on the payout after the complainant, Kiley Swaine, described finding the swastika on the front passenger seat of his car after he was arrested along with two other suspects accused of mail theft in January 2020, according to the Los Angeles Times. The charges against Swaine were later dropped. Two Torrance police officers, Christopher Tomsic and Cody Weldin, allegedly spray painted a swastika with a smiley face on the seat of Swaine’s car, leaving the interior damaged, before the car was towed away from the scene, Swaine’s lawyer, Jerry Steering, said in a statement. Swaine told the police about the graffiti after he discovered it once his car was released two days after being impounded. Both officers pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and vandalism charges, and have left the department, according to the report. “I have been suing police officers for 39 years and I have never seen anything like this,” Steering said. “It never ceases to amaze me that quite often the very people entrusted by our citizens to protect us from dangerous criminals are more dangerous than the criminals who they are supposed to be protecting us from.” In 2021, the Times found that officers in the Torrance Police Department had texted each other with offensive comments about Jews and other minority groups. In the aftermath of the charges against Tomsic and Weldin, it was announced that 13 additional officers had been suspended over sharing hateful messages, including antisemitic content. The officers were placed on administrative leave, CBS Los Angeles reported. Torrance Mayor Pat Furey told CBS that the behavior was “sickening,” especially given that the accused were sworn to uphold the law. The payout settles a federal lawsuit filed by Kiley Swaine, who discovered the swastika on his car’s back seat after he and two other men were arrested on suspicion of mail theft in Jan. 2020, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. Swaine was later cleared of the mail theft charges. Two Torrance police officers allegedly spray-painted the swastika, as well as a happy face, on Swain’s car seats before having the vehicle towed away, said Swaine’s attorney, Jerry Steering. The officers, who have left the force, each pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial on conspiracy and vandalism charges. An investigation by the Times in 2021 found that officers of the Torrance Police Department traded hateful comments via text messages about people of color, particularly Black people, as well as Jews and members of the LGBTQ community. Other messages spoke about using violence against suspects and lying to investigators about a police shooting. City Pays $750K After Police Accused of Painting Swastika The Southern California city of Torrance has paid a man $750,000 after two police officers were accused of spray-painting a swastika inside his car three years ago By Associated Press March 20, 2023, at 3:13 p.m TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — The Southern California city of Torrance has paid a man $750,000 after two police officers were accused of spray-painting a swastika inside his car three years ago. The investigation into that incident led to the discovery of a trove of racist and homophobic text exchanges among police officers in Torrance, home to about 143,000 people south of Los Angeles. The resulting scandal prompted LA County prosecutors to toss dozens of felony cases. City Pays $750K After Police Accused of Painting Swastika (usnews.com) California City Pays $750K After Cops Accused of Painting Swastika on Man’s Car VANDAL SCANDAL AJ McDougall Breaking News Reporter Published Mar. 21, 2023 3:45PM ET The city of Torrance, 15 miles southwest of Los Angeles, has paid a man $750,000 after he accused two of its police officers of spray-painting a swastika on his car seat in 2020. The payout settles a federal lawsuit filed by Kiley Swaine last year. In his complaint, Swaine said that his car had been towed after he’d been arrested on suspicion of mail fraud. When he’d gone to collect it two days later, he found the seats covered in protein powder and cereal. A white spray-paint smiley face had been drawn on the front seat, according to the suit, while a white swastika covered the back seat. Swaine, described by The Washington Post as “part Jewish,” accused the two officers who’d arrested him, Cody Weldin and Christopher Tomsic, of the vandalism. The pair were charged in connection with the case by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office in August 2021. Both have pleaded not guilty, and the case against them remains ongoing. ““I have been suing police officers for 39 years and I have never seen anything like this,” Swaine’s attorney, Jerry Steering, said in a news release. Torrance pays $750,000 to owner of car allegedly painted with swastika by police officers ‘I have been suing police officers for 39 years and I have never seen anything like this,’ said an attorney representing the car owner By TONY SAAVEDRA | firstname.lastname@example.org | Southern California News Group PUBLISHED: March 17, 2023 at 6:32 a.m. | UPDATED: March 17, 2023 at 6:34 a.m. The city of Torrance has paid $750,000 to the owner of an impounded car that allegedly was spray-painted by police with a swastika in 2020. The payment settles a $6 million federal lawsuit by car owner Kiley Swaine, who did not learn of the alleged involvement of two former Torrance police officers until nearly two years after the damage to his 2004 Hyundai Elantra. The swastika incident led to the discovery that some officers were engaging in racist and homophobic text messages, including jokes about having “gassed the Jews,” urinating on a Black man and beating up a woman. The texts featured several variations of the n-word and referred to detainees as “monkeys,” “moon crickets” and “savages.” So far, at least four officers have been terminated or resigned in the aftermath of the scandal. Fifteen officers had been placed on leave pending an investigation. “I have been suing police officers for 39 years and I have never seen anything like this,” said Swaine’s attorney, Jerry Steering of Newport Beach. “It never ceases to amaze me that quite often the very people entrusted by our citizens to protect us from dangerous criminals are more dangerous than the criminals.” Two former Torrance officers, Cody Weldin and Christopher Tomsic, have been charged with felony conspiracy and vandalism in the swastika incident. They are scheduled to appear in Los Angeles County Superior Court on March 29 and are awaiting a preliminary hearing. Swaine’s car was impounded and he and two others were arrested in the early morning hours of Jan. 27, 2020, on suspicion of stealing mail from an apartment building. No charges were ever filed against Swaine. At the time of his arrest, Swaine was with Torrance resident Robert Boman, an alleged member of a Southern California-based white supremacist group who is facing federal charges for violent attacks at local political rallies. Boman, an alleged member of the Rise Above Movement, is accused of attacking people at rallies in Huntington Beach and Berkeley. Steering said Swaine, who is half-Jewish, knew Boman only as a co-worker at a South Bay restaurant. He said Swaine was not affiliated with the Rise Above Movement. Before officers took Swaine and the two others to jail, they congratulated Boman on his political views and actions on behalf of the white supremacy cause, Steering said. After his release from jail, Swaine picked up his car from the tow yard and found the swastika painted on the back seat and a smiley face painted elsewhere on the car. Breakfast cereal and a protein powder had been dumped throughout the vehicle. According to a police affidavit, the tow yard paid $2,750 to repair the damage. But tow truck driver Christopher Dunn later told police interrogators that he witnessed Tomsic spray-painting the outside of the car. Dunn also received a text message from Weldin apologizing for the damage, according to court documents. Messages found on the officers’ cellphones led to the discovery of other officers engaging in racist and homophobic texts. Steering alleged that Torrance police and city officials knew of the officers’ alleged vandalism long before it was publicly disclosed. “Although most police officers are well-intentioned people, none of them will rat out their fellow cops; none of them,” he said. “That is apparently what happened at Torrance PD.” Steering added: “The Torrance Police Department … concealed from Kiley Swaine the fact that Tomsic and Weldin, that Torrance police officers, were the persons who had vandalized his car, and for that they should be ashamed.” Torrance’s city attorney, police chief, mayor and mayor pro tem did not return requests for comment. See also, in the Mercury News, California city pays $750,000 to owner of car allegedly painted with swastika by police officers ___________________________________________________________________________________ See, Jerry L. Steering’s other case results at Other Case Results and Settlements Mr. Steering interviewed by Diane Sawyer about one of his cases on Good Moring America If you are the victim of Police Misconduct, Jerry L. Steering may be able to hep you.