Media Mistake: Brian Mulligan on Bath Salts – A Story Mistold

Media Mistake: Brian Mulligan on Bath Salts – A Story Mistold

Media icon Brian Mulligan was lucky to be alive after brutality at the hands of the LAPD. This is Part 1 in a series about how far the LAPD will go to influence the press and undermine the judicial system to shield its officers from claims of brutality and misconduct. Between the time of his beating and the time he sued, his story grew into a wild new animal where the Mulligan was falsely portrayed as a drug addict, and the LAPD officers were portrayed as victims of Mulligan. The media has assisted the LAPD in blaming and re-traumatizing a trauma victim in a way that has changed his life forever. Shocking but true. And it could happen to you.

Media icon Brian Mulligan, a successful Hollywood executive, was in the wrong place at the wrong time and found himself the survivor of police brutality at the hands of the LAPD. The police report stated, “At approximately 2220 hrs, we responded to an ‘Attempt Grand Theft Auto’ radio call (c.f. Incident # 120515005368). The contents of the call indicate that a male white (Susp, light shirt light pants, 6-ft tall) was attempting to gain entry into the PR’s vehicle while the PR was still inside.”

By the end of the night, Mulligan had been hospitalized for having been severely beaten by the LAPD.

Between the time of his beating and the time he sued, his story grew into a wild new animal where the victim, Brian Mulligan was portrayed as having deserved to be savagely beaten, and the predators – two officers from the LAPD – were portrayed as victims of Mulligan. The media, whether intentionally or not, assisted the LAPD in escaping the accountability for their actions and  re-traumatizing a trauma victim in a way that has damaged his professional reputation almost beyond repair.

Or maybe not.

Here’s a 5-minute video that sums up his story. GRAPHIC WARNING


Many consider Brian Mulligan to be one of the most gifted financial minds in the history of Hollywood.

Brian continues to be a highly sought after advisor to the heads of many major media companies and high level executives. He has also been offered opportunities to head banking operations as well as global strategies for some of the biggest companies in their fields. The legendary executive Frank Biondi (former head of Viacom and Universal) called Mr. Mulligan the greatest deal maker he had ever seen.

His resume includes time as the Chairman of Universal Pictures, CEO of Fox Television and others. Brian facilitated over $175 billion of media and entertainment transactions, helping to create thousands of jobs, especially for women and minorities in Los Angeles. He was named “One of the Most Powerful People in Hollywood” by Premiere Magazine, “One of the Ten Most Prominent Bankers in Hollywood” by the Los Angeles Business Journal, and “One of the Leading Investment Bankers on Emerging Business Models,” by TMT Quarterly/Law 360, among other awards. After the 2008 recession, Mulligan wanted to use his financial problem-solving talents to help Los Angeles. He then took his first job at a bank. He was named to Vice-Chairman of Deutche Bank over the telecom and media sector. SEE HERE. In 2008, Deutche Bank was the eighth most successful bank in its sector. After just three years with Mulligan in the driver’s seat, Deutche Bank ranked number one.

Not only did he perform in a stellar manner, he never missed a meeting, he never lost a single dollar of investor money, and there was not one complaint about him in his FINRA file.  (FINRA is the Financial Industry Regulatory Agency.)


In other words, he was a rare gem in the world of banking. The success in his new career as a banker, however, did not come without a price. He was constantly educating himself, studying new regulations and taking difficult exams to get the most advanced licenses possible. His grueling schedule including travel of over a million air miles per year required time away from his family, overnight flights, and exhausting days.

On May 15, 2012, at approximately 9:00 p.m., Brian Mulligan, a thin 53-year old male wearing a pink, polo, button-down shirt who was somewhat frail after having had both back surgery and knee surgery, was running errands before he was scheduled to board a night flight. Two LAPD police officers, James Nichols and John Miller, said they were responding to a call about a man trying to break into cars when they came upon Mulligan. The officers began questioning him, found thousands of dollars in his possession, and tested him for evidence of drugs and alcohol. Officer James Nichols, a DRE (drug recognition expert) performed several tests on him to determine if he was under the influence of anything.  Nichols stated in court that he was accurate in his assessments 98% of the time. In the police report, Nichols wrote:

.Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 9.26.45 AM

“Mulligan was not under the influence of a controlled substance” ~ Officer James Nichols, LAPD

Furthermore, the police report stated that he was “calm, lucid and cooperative,” and did not meet the criteria for 11550 HS, (under the influence of any controlled substance – READ IT HERE), 647 (F) PC  (disorderly conduct, bothering people, under the influence of liquor, trespassing, in a condition that he or she is unable to exercise care for his or her own safety or the safety of others, READ IT  HERE) or 5150 (WIC)  (mental health disorder, is a danger to others, or to himself or herself – READ IT HERE).

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This is not to imply he did drugs on other nights; he was not a drug addict. But that night is the one that matters. According to their police report, their search showed no drugs in either his system or his car, and they determined he was engaged in “no criminal activity.”  In other words, they had no reason to arrest him or take him to police headquarters, yet they held him in handcuffs in the back of their police car for nearly two hours. According to an affidavit by LAPD veteran and police expert Scott Landsman HERE:

“A period of 20-25 minutes is adequate to determine if an individual is intoxicated or under the influence. Both a request for wants and warrants can be completed within that time frame.But here, after the initial 40 minutes, the officers continued the detention, even though they still had no reason to arrest Mr. Mulligan. . .The officers drove Mr. Mulligan, still handcuffed, to the location of his car.  The officers confirmed that the information originally given by Mulligan was true and accurate, yet they maintained custody of Mulligan at that location for an additional 40 plus minutes. Officers Nichols/Miller detained Mr. Mulligan continuously, handcuffed in their police vehicle..”

“The 40 minute detention at Occidental College coupled with the 40 minute detention later at Mulligan’s car was excessive, as the officers had already determined that Mr. Mulligan was not involved in any criminal activity nor was he to be detained for public intoxication or under the influence of a narcotic…Their excessive detention contributed to Mr. Mulligan’s state of anxiety and fear.”

What is Scott Landsman’s expertise? It’s remarkable.  SEE HERE

However, if Mulligan would have been acting deranged, police have a very specific protocol:

“When a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is a danger to others, or to himself or herself, …a peace officer… upon probable cause, take, or cause to be taken, the person into custody for a period of up to 72 hours for assessment, evaluation, and crisis intervention, or placement for evaluation and treatment in a facility designated by the county for evaluation and treatment and approved by the State Department of Health Care Services.

The professional person in charge of a facility designated by the county for evaluation and treatment…or professional person designated by the county shall assess the person to determine whether he or she can be properly served without being detained…


(if) the person can be properly served without being detained, he or she shall be provided evaluation, crisis intervention, or other inpatient or outpatient services on a voluntary basis. Nothing in this subdivision shall be interpreted to prevent a peace officer from delivering individuals to a designated facility for assessment under this section. “

That’s it. If Mulligan had illegal drugs in his car, he should have been arrested and these drugs should have been booked as evidence. If he even had “white lightning” in his car as they later claimed, (which was not a controlled substance or illegal, by the way), it seems like they would have still turned it in, or at least mentioned that they found it in his car to justify their later brutality. But they didn’t.

It seems they also forgot that if a suspect is acting in any sort of bizarre way that could be considered dangerous to himself or others, California legal codes mandate that the suspect should have been taken to “a facility for evaluation and treatment and approved by the State Department of Health Care Services.”

Officer James Nichols and Officer John Miller, LAPD


What Officer John Miller and Officer James Nichols did insert into their police report in the six hours they had to work on it together (which was against policy according to police expert Lou Reiter ‘s Deposition HERE) was that Mulligan spontaneously informed them that he was on drugs.  The police report says, “I formed the opinion that Mulligan was not under the influence of a controlled substance.” After police determined a suspect to be drug-free, it’s hard to imagine the suspect tapping the police on the shoulder and whispering, “Officer, you are mistaken. I’d like to inform you that I actually am on drugs. Please be sure to add that to your police report.”

All the test results showed that Mulligan was not under the influence of anything.


Mulligan not on bath salts

Even their own police report and actions reflect that Mulligan was drug-free.

For the sake of argument, even though test results showed he was not on any illegal substance, if it were true that Mulligan had offered the information that he had indeed ingested marijuana, since when does marijuana cause snarling or dangerous behavior?  Contrary to what has been broadly misrepresented, the police report does not state that he admitted he was on bath salts that night. It states he admitted he had taken White Lightning in the past – which police then described as a legal over-the-counter product. He has readily admitted this. He has never denied this.

What is White Lightning?

It’s a substance that a lot of men have used for body-building, women have used for weight loss, and others have used for energy.

“The APS White Lightning supplement is marketed as an energy supplement that can help you work out harder than you would otherwise, by increasing your energy levels and helping you focus. The safety and effectiveness of the supplement is in question, as many of the ingredients are unproven. APS promises that White Lightning will ‘vastly increase cognitive function and concentration’ by way of a ‘clean energy burst’ that will not make you crash. The manufacturer also claims that the capsules will burn fat thermogenically, by increasing your body’s temperature.” SEE SOURCE


It is not the kind of substance that makes a person growl and foam at the mouth, and neither is marijuana. It was not until after Mulligan indicated that he was going to sue the LAPD when the police officer’s union, or LAPPL, decided to issue a press release and publicity campaign to connect Brian Mulligan with bath salts. Portraying Mulligan as having been on bath salts the night of the beating – even though they knew that tests proved this was not true may have been a cheap shot, but it worked. In fact, that same month in 2012, the Miami cannibal attack occurred when Rudy Eugen was eating a homeless man’s face. Police speculated that bath salts caused this, and although it later proved to be untrue, just the mentioning of bath salts in any case created hysteria. The LAPD capitalized on this hysteria.

Here’s what Justin Peters of Slate Magazine wrote about it.

According to the head of the Miami police union, the answer was “bath salts,” a drug that most people had never heard of but were happy to become hysterical over. Sold for years in gas stations and convenience stores next to “men’s vitality supplements” and other weird foil packets, bath salts contain synthetic stimulants mixed with caffeine and such.

But are they really as dangerous as they sound? In a great piece on Playboy’s website, Frank Owen convincingly argues that, no, they aren’t. Owen finds that toxicology reports showed that marijuana was the only drug in Rudy Eugene’s system at the time of his death, and he debunks other cases where bath salts were linked to inexplicable rage and violence. The Great Bath Salt Scare of 2012, Owen shows, was almost entirely manufactured by fear-mongering drug warriors.

So why did bath salts become the fall guy in the Eugene case? Owen believes that bath salts were a decoy—that the police union chief was looking to divert public attention from the fact that a Hispanic cop had shot and killed an unarmed African-American suspect.”

It was nonsense in the case of Rudy Eugene, and it was nonsense in the case of Brian Mulligan. Police officer’s unions have to find ways to justify use of force to protect their own from being held accountable.  Bath salts might make excellent diversionary tactics, but they are not usually associated with violent delusions or deranged behavior. Especially “White Lightning.”


On October 12, 2012, title of the press release put out by the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) was –  Self-Admitted Bath Salts User Attempts To Shake Down The LAPD 

Not only did they try to use bath salt hysteria to distract from the truth of the LAPD’s lack of supervision and brutality, they also tried to lump Brian Mulligan into the group of dishonest bankers who contributed to the 2008 financial collapse. Mulligan did not become a banker until 2009. The press release started out like this:

“The truthfulness of many bankers was questioned following the 2008 financial collapse. The tales some of them wove unraveled as they drove the collapse of the financial system. So, what do you get when you cross a user of bath salts with a banker who seeks a payday from the City of Los Angeles? Meet Brian Mulligan – the man best known for his day job as a high-powered banker with Deutsche Bank. Less known about Mulligan is that he, by his own admission, was a frequent user of “bath salts,” a substance that causes euphoric sensations and violent delusions.” 

Perhaps this story, as wildly sensational as it was, was never questioned by mainstream media because it came from the LAPPL. To make their press release even more juicy and convincing, the LAPPL even included an illegally-obtained recording from five months earlier when Mulligan walked into a police department and asked whether White Lightning was legal. Who would ask such a question but an honest man who cared about obeying the law? During this conversation, Mulligan explained that he bought it over the counter and occasionally used it, no more than 20 times, and usually when he had jet lag. After all, he logged over a million air miles a year. Mulligan had conflicting information on whether it was legal, so he wanted to inquire straight from the source he trusted: the police. He was obviously nervous. He used the word “paranoid” in a self-deprecating way and he is distracted by the sounds of a helicopter. However, he also speaks about his family, and although he comes across a little embarrassed to be asking these questions and having the conversation, he’s definitely coherent. The officer noted that he did not seem to be on drugs and took no issue with Mulligan driving home.

On the stand in Mulligan’s trial, the Glendale police officer also testified that Mulligan was not under the influence of anything during his recorded conversation.

Read the related Affidavits HERE, HERE, and HERE.

This recording was made May 13, 2012, two days before he was beaten, and several months before it was discovered and posted on the Internet by the Police Officer’s Union. Since Mulligan was determined not to be on drugs the night he was beaten, the tape recording of Mulligan speaking about his prior use of White Lightning tape could not undo the fact that he was not found to be on bath salts the night he was beaten.

Toxicology tests showed Brian Mulligan was 100% sober and drug-free the night he was beaten.

The police officers who beat Brian Mulligan also wrote in the police report that Mulligan told them he had not slept in four days. Mulligan vehemently denied that he said this in court.

Since he was found to not be under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or even bath salts (B.S.), is it possible he could have acted deranged from four days of exhaustion?

Not likely. Mulligan passed a difficult FINRA test the day before, on May 14, 2012. On May 15, 2012, the day of the beating, Mulligan spent eight productive hours in intense business meetings negotiating and strategizing high-profile media projects. This was not a man who was delirious due to days without sleep.

Yet somehow, media outlets felt justified to run with the story in a way that led the public to believe that Brian Mulligan, a victim, was acting deranged due to B.S. and deserved what he got the night that police nearly killed him.

A few savvy bloggers did not accept the story so blindly. Some have questioned why, if officers truly believed he was on drugs, they did not did arrest him, take him to police headquarters, take him to a hospital, put him on a 72-hour hold at a designated facility, put him in a taxi or called someone in his family to come and get him. They did none of those things. Instead, after these officers called in a third party to count the thousands of dollars of cash on Mr. Mulligan’s person, they took him to a gang-infested area another city and compelled him to check into a dangerous, crime-ridden motel with a wad of cash in his pocket.

What kind of motel was it? The Los Angeles County Jail gives vouchers to this motel to prisoners who get out of jail and have nowhere else to go. This is not the kind of motel an executive who handled multibillion dollar deals for Deutche Bank, Disney, Fox, MGM, DirecTV and Universal Pictures had probably ever stepped foot in – in his life.

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Gang writing on the TV


The police made Mulligan leave his cell phone in his car. He could not even use the motel telephone to call his family because, if any of the phones in the rooms worked at all, they only called the front desk. No phones in the rooms called outside the motel. Furthermore, the officers gave Mulligan’s car key to the clerk and ordered the clerk not to return his car keys until morning. According to Mulligan, police threatened him that if he left, he would be a dead man. Is it any wonder that Mulligan worried that he was being set up to be robbed, extorted or killed?  Police Expert Scott Landsman, after reviewing the facts of the case, concluded the following:

“There was no basis for the officers to transport Mr. Mulligan to the Highland Park Motel against his will. There was also no basis for officers to order Mr. Mulligan to stay at the Highland Park Motel as he was not under arrest and not being detained…Transporting Mr. Mulligan to a motel known as a place where criminal activity takes place (per Officer Barach’s deposition testimony, pp. 20-24) with a significant amount of cash on his person was a violation of LAPD policy. The officers have a professional responsibility for the reasonable safety of any person they encounter. Here, they jeopardized Mr. Mulligan’s safety without justification.”  (Exhibit 360, Scott Landsman, p 9)

After the officers left, Mulligan went to the clerk, demanded his car keys back, and fled the motel. When the officers caught him escaping, they pursued him. Mr. Mulligan, remembering their verbal threats to stay put or he’d be a dead man, high-tailed it out of there. This was not the matter of a paranoid man running and screaming without cause. When they caught him, Officer Miller threw him to the ground, Officer Nichols continued to beat him to a pulp, leaving him with a concussion, a nose shattered in 15 places, and a broken shoulder blade from the force of the police baton. Mulligan was moaning and writhing.




Once Mulligan sued, the Los Angeles Police Department, the LAPPL and its PR firm went on the offensive, disseminating a portrait of Mulligan as a “crazed addict” strung out on bath salts.  Notice the following report from ABC News.

January 22, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST

The officers described two almost word-for-word identical encounters with Mulligan in Eagle Rock in May 2012. The first time they encountered him, they said, he was rambling and incoherent.

This contradicts what the officers said in their police report HERE where they wrote that he was calm, lucid, and cooperative.

“He was covered in sweat. He was very jittery,” Nichols said. “He said he was going through a divorce. He was very upset.”

Other court documents counter this. Mulligan and his wife of 25 years were both dismayed to read this alleged fabrication in the police report. Unlike most American couples, these two had never even discussed divorce. Furthermore, Mulligan is not only close with his children, he is very actively involved in their lives. Officer Nichols, on the other hand, was going through a divorce and a bankruptcy to boot.

But why would an officer make up an element of marital problems to add to the police report?

It might help the officers’ explain to their superiors why they took Mulligan to a motel instead of home. Ironically, they had their video cameras as well as their car lights turned off throughout his beating. Yet, in a clip of the 911 tapes during the beating, Brian Mulligan can be heard begging, “Please officer, call my wife!” These are the words of a man who sees his wife as someone who cares about him, someone he can trust, the first person he thinks of when he is hurting. These hardly seem like the words of a man disillusioned with his marriage and going through a divorce.

The assistant City Attorney, Denise Mills asks Mulligan’s wife if she understood that the police report is a reflection of what the officers recalled from the night her husband was beaten. She asked, “Do you understand that the (police) report is the officers’ statement as to what they saw and heard during the incident with your husband?” Mills then asked if she had read it.

A. Parts of it.

Q. Which parts did you read?

A. I read about — I think – I read to the point where the officers lied and said that my husband and I were getting a divorce, and then I didn’t finish reading it from there.

Q. Why did you stop reading it at that —

A. Because I didn’t want to read a report full of lies.

Q. Okay. Do you understand that that report is a reflection of what the officers recall from May 15th, May 16th?

Q. Do you understand that the arrest report is the officers’ statement as to what they saw and heard during the incident with your husband?

A.  I’ve never seen an arrest – a police report before; so I don’t know what it was. All I know is it was — I read that lie and I stopped reading it.

The ABC article continued,

In his car, they found wads of money and bath salts called “white lightning” in his car.

Yet, the police report made no mention of White Lightning being in Mulligan’s car.  This claim first appeared in the story at a much later time.


The Man in the Nightstand – Fact or Fiction?

The article continued:

He agreed to go to a motel to sleep it off, but officers testified he ran out and caused a disturbance, claiming someone was hiding in his nightstand.

Officer Nichols testified that Mulligan pointed inside a nightstand drawer, saying, ‘there he is’. Officers say they reassured him then left.

Why would a fact so bizarre and significant that it made world news – never be mentioned in the police report? Furthermore, if it were true, this would be more evidence that Mulligan should have been put in a 72-hour hold. Not a word about this was mentioned before Mulligan filed intent to sue in August 2012, and the story went public.

The ABC article continues: About an hour later, Miller testified that Mulligan was back on the street in traffic and that he tried to get into a moving car.

If true, this would certainly provide support for officers’ motive to subdue him, possibly requiring force. If true, it also paints a picture of a man strung out on drugs. But how did Mulligan go from not being on drugs, to allegedly being so strung out on drugs he was trying to steal cars, and then back to not being on drugs all while under the care of the same two police officers? At Huntington Hospital, four different toxicology tests were done using blood and urine screening for 65 different drugs and their metabolites. This included testing for designer drugs and screening for evidence that narcotics that might have been in his system earlier but had since broken down. No matter which test was given, the results were consistent and conclusive.


Grand Theft Auto

Would Mulligan would commit his first carjacking, Grand Theft Auto, right before he had to go to the airport? Mulligan was not arrested for attempted Grand Theft Auto, and there were no victims of his alleged carjacking in court. There was not even so much as a fingerprint to lend support to the LAPD story that Mulligan was trying to pull off the first carjacking of his career. In fact, fingerprinting was never even ordered. Why? Perhaps because the officers knew no fingerprints would be found.

Brian Mulligan had no tools to steal a car
Brian Mulligan had no tools to steal a car

It is possible that the superiors of Officers Nichols and Miller didn’t believe their story either. After all, Officer Nichols had complaints for misconduct against him for years. See MOTHER JONES  VOICES FOR DIGNITY

The police report states that numerous tests showed Mulligan to be drug free. He was not engaged in any criminal activity, and did not merit being arrested, booked or detained. That is, until he left the motel and allegedly attempted to carjack a few people, but why was it that not a single victim of his alleged attempted carjackings could be found?

The only people to testify of Mulligan’s attempted car-jacking were two police officers who were both involved in his beating, both told identical stories, and both had a motive to lie. The article states,

When the officers tried to approach him, they say he raised his hands, growled at them and charged at Officer Nichols.

They said the banker was acting so strangely and uncontrollable they feared he would do damage to himself or others.

“This guy had gone crazy,” Miller said. “He’d lost his marbles. I was a bit scared. I’d never seen anybody frothing at the mouth and growling as an adult human being.”


Why Police Lie Under Oath

Police Misconduct and the California Innocence Project

Why Cops Lie

New York Times Article About Police Lying Rings True

Officer John Miller was a huge 6’6 physically-fit former military man. He told the press that he was afraid of a thin, 53-year old business executive wearing a pink shirt who was half a foot shorter than him. If Mulligan “was acting so strangely and uncontrollable they feared he would do damage to himself or others,” then why did Officer James Nichols write in the police report that Mulligan did not meet the criteria for Code 5150 (WIC) SEE HERE – which is a mental health hold required for someone acting strangely and at risk of causing damage to himself or others.

The City Attorney, Denise Mills, reminded Mulligan’s wife that the police report is the reflection of what the officers recalled from that night.

The police report makes no mention of “frothing at the mouth.” That’s a pretty significant detail to leave out considering Officer Miller told the press “he’d never seen anything like it.” Odd, that something so significant was not mentioned in the police report. Even more odd is the fact that they described Mulligan as calm, cooperative and lucid.

The Mysterious Motel Move


“When a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is a danger to others, or to himself or herself, …a peace officer… upon probable cause, can:”

A. Take the person into custody for a period of up to 72 hours for assessment, evaluation, and crisis intervention

B. Arrange for the placement for evaluation and treatment of the individual in a facility designated by the county for evaluation and treatment approved by the State Department of Health Care Services.

C. Call a family member to come get the person

Did you notice that “drive the handcuffed person to a motel filled with ex-cons” is not on the list?

If Mulligan was not under the influence, as Officer Nichols, the Drug Recognition Expert wrote in the beginning of the police report, and if Mulligan was not involved  in criminal activity, as also reported, why, then, did the police take him to a motel in handcuffs instead of let him drive his car home? Theories anyone?

If his car was having mechanical problems or had run out of gas, the police clearly knew Mulligan had enough money on him to get a gas can, take a taxi, or call a tow truck.

Motel at night
Motel at night

The police report states, “Mulligan stated that he was concerned for his safety while in the area due to a high incidence of violent crime.” This was before being transported to another location where the motel was.

Why would a man who wasconcerned for his safety while in the area due to a high incidence of violent crime,request for the police to take him to a motel in an even more dangerous area?

If Mulligan had thousands of dollars on his person (as many people about to travel often do), he certainly had the means to stay somewhere nicer and safer.

The police report further  states, “The Susp inquired if officers could take him to a nearby motel where he could rest before driving to his residence.”

If Mulligan wanted to rest before driving to his residence, why would he ask to be driven to a motel in another city that was miles from his car, making it next to impossible for him to get to his car and drive to his residence after he rested?

If Mulligan requested to go there of his own free will, why did he flee as soon as the officer’s left?  If it was his idea to go there and rest, why did the police give his car keys to the clerk at the front desk and order the clerk not to return Mulligan’s keys to him until morning?  This move might have been understandable had Mulligan been drunk or under the influence.

But according to the Drug Recognition Expert Officer James Nichols who is 98% accurate, Brian Mulligan was NOT on drugs.

Brian Mulligan, motel, police window
Police emblems in the window of the motel

Mulligan was not under the influence of anything on May 15, 2012. Except perhaps fear.

The police report states, “Officers secured the Susp’s veh and left it legally parked per the Susp’ s request. We then transported the Susp to the “Highland Park Motel” at 4855 York Ave per the Susp’s request and returned the Susp’s property to him without incident.”

The officer wrote that it was the suspect who requested to go Highland Park Motel at 4855 York Ave, but that’s a hard pill to swallow. The front clerk knew these officers by first name and in an interview with a detective, stated that Miller had been there 8 or 9 times before.

The front window was decorated with police stickers, emblems and badges. There was a clear and known working relationship between this motel and these officers. When ex-cons get out of prison and have nowhere to go, they get a voucher for this motel.

The report also states that once at the motel, they returned his property without incident.  The property was cash. Earlier in the police report, they wrote what happened when they first detained Mulligan at the Eagle Rock location, before transporting him to the motel. “While at this location, I requested a NOE supervisor to respond to ensure accountability for a large sum of U.S. currency recovered from Mulligan’s person during our contact with him. Sgt Santos (1 1L70) responded the location in order to complete a money count.”

They gave him his money back at the new location, the motel, “without incident.” Did they expect an incident?

How to Not Catch a Car Thief 101

Examine the evidence for “Grand Theft Auto” that was provided in the police report:

The Susp then fled eastbound on York Av and approached the passenger-side door of a silver 4-dr sedan (possible Toyota Camry, unk license) which was parked on the street at the northeast corner of York Av and Av 54. After attempting to gain access to that veh, Mulligan continued to run n/b on Ave toward a gold 4-dr sedan (possible Lincoln Towncar, unk Lic) which was parked in a driveway along the east curb.

The police stated that they initially contacted Mulligan because he met the description of a man trying to carjack.

However, the 911 records from that evening reveal that there were no such calls at all.


Officers determined he was 100% sober, calm, clear, lucid, not engaged in criminal activity, had his own car, and had a lot of cash. Still, they forced him to check into a questionable motel with whom they had a strong relationship – with all his cash. When he tried to get out of there, the police reported several instances they claim were him trying to carjack or steal cars – yet for some reason, they didn’t see the need to notice exactly which kind of car it was they saw him trying to steal? It was possibly a Lincoln or a Camry. Wouldn’t they have been on high alert to take note of details such as the exact make of the car and the license plate?  The last cars were even parked on the street and in a driveway.

“As we were driving w/b on Meridian approaching Av 54, I observed a male wht whom I immediately recognized as Susp-Mulligan crouching down near the passenger-side door of a silver Honda Element (Lic # 5RBU926) which was parked on the north curb of Meridian”

Finally they got a license plate from a parked Honda Element that he was supposedly hiding behind when he was trying to avoid the police who, according to his testimony, filled him with fear for his safety. The police report stated, “I noticed that Mulligan appeared to be attempting to gain entry to the passenger-side door of the veh by forcibly pulling on the handle.” However, homeowner video footage from that night shows Mulligan walking on the sidewalk nowhere near a Honda when he first sees Mulligan.

Was this supposed to be evidence that he was trying to steal a car?  Certainly police know one cannot steal a locked car without tools. Mulligan had no tools with which to break into the car.


He had no tools with which to hot wire a car, either. According to the links below, in order to hot wire a car, a person must have a flat-bladed screwdriver, a wire stripper, and insulated gloves.

See: How to Hot Wire A Car   How to Hot Wire a Car Like  Pro

Mulligan had none of these things. He also had no accomplice, no strategy about which car would be best to steal (he seemed to have an “any car will do” approach), and a very awkward sense of timing. Even if he engaged his intellectual superpowers and somehow miraculously, successfully stole the Honda Element with no tools, simply by “forcibly pulling on the door handle,” what was he going to do then? Take it to a chop shop so he could earn a little fast cash before his late night flight?


Even if the thousands of dollars in his pocket was not enough for him that night, couldn’t Brian Mulligan, the most brilliant financial mind in the entertainment business, have found a better strategy to make a little extra cash?

Would Brian Mulligan really need to steal a car?

Brian Mulligan is the definition of a media icon. Here are some of his accomplishments.

  • Erin_Brockovich_(2000)CFO and EVP at Seagram/Universal Studios
  • Co-chairman of Universal Pictures
  • Head of Universal Network TV
  • COO of Operations at Universal/EVP Corporate Strategic Planning
  • EVP Corporate Strategic Planning for MCA Inc / Universal
  • Chairman of Fox TV – network, cable, sports programming
  • Former board member of Ascent Media, Spyglass, LEK, IAC, Cineplex, Napster, Entertainment Industry Advisory Board
  • Exec Senior Advisor Boston Consulting Group
  • Principal investor at Spyglass
  • 10 transactions in excess of $5 billion
  • Sole M&A advisor for winning bidder of MGM
  • $10 billion financing for Univision
  • $600 million AMC financing
  • Acquired 50% stake in USA Networks
  • Acquired Sci-Fi Channel, Speed Channel
  • Handled the sale of the Golf Channel
  • Handled over $3 billion in film financing for Galaxy I, 2
  • Monetized $1 billion of Polygram Film/TV assets
  • Structured Spyglas/Cerberus for $400 million
  • Sold USA Film/October Films to IAC for $250 million
  • Acquired Brillstein-Grey Television
  • Sale of United Cinema Inc., Cineplex Odeon
  • Oversaw creation of Focus Features and UPI
  • Oversaw USA, Sci-Fi and Fox Cable Channels
  • Acquisition of Polygram Music and Film for $10.4 billion
  • Acquisition of Geffen Records, Interscope, Dreamworks Music
  • Partnered with GE to buy MGM
  • Created $200 million film fund for joint MGM/Universal product



In 1998, Bruce Hack, Vice Chairman of Universal and CFO, wrote on Mulligan’s job evaluation that he is “already the most competent executive in the industry.” Ron Meyer, the president of Universal Studios, told Variety (June 1999) that, “Brian has great business acumen, traits I don’t think you necessarily find in one person.”  

Mulligan has green-lit or financed critical or commercial home runs including Erin Brockovich, Meet the Fockar’s, 300, Gladiator, Bone Collector, The Grinch, Fast and Furious, The Mummy, Jurassic Park 3, American Pie, and Star Trek to name a few. According to the January 10, 2013 issue of  Hollywood Reporter, Mulligan was respected by both CEO’s and creative icons alike, and he understood the push-pull nature of the entertainment industry.

“He got that this is show business, that there is a part show and part business, and people need to understand the delicate balance between the two,” says Birnbaurn, whose Spyglass also engaged Mulligan, then at Deutsche Bank, to provide financing to help it take over MGM in 2010. Earlier this year, while Birnham was co-CEO of MGM, Mulligan worked on a refinancing  deal for the company.” Hollywood Reporter

When Deutche Bank brought Mulligan on board, they described him as their “competitive advantage.” In download (1)October 2009 issue of Investment Dealer’s Digest, Jacques Brand glowed about their new hire, “Brian has more than 25 years experience in the media industry and has held leadership positions in virtually all facets of media and entertainment. He has a proven track record and unique blend of experience that will complement our existing strengths as we continue to expand our presence in the region.”

Even Steven Spielberg gave him kudos for his brilliant financial mind. According to the LA Times, when film production veteran Stacey Snider and Brian C. Mulligan were named co-chairs of Universal Pictures, Steven Spielberg said, “I think this may be the best motion picture team Universal has ever had.” When Hollywood icons like Steven Spielberg need to figure out how to finance multi-million dollar deals, Brian Mulligan is the go-to guy. The Deal Magazine wrote, “It’s time to rethink Hollywood when even Steven Spielberg needs 10 months to secure financing. And for a couple of movie moneymen, P. Clark Hallren and Brian C. Mulligan, this sort of rethinking is also resetting careers.”

Mulligan’s career wasn’t all about his past accomplishments, either. In 2012, in the months just before his beating, Mulligan was having the best year of his career – hardly representative of someone with a drug problem. In 2012, he facilitated deals for DirecTV ($4 billion), Nielsen, AT&T ($3 billion), CBS ($700 million), Clear Channel ($275 million), Disney ($1.4 billion), MGM ($500 million), Viacom ($750 million), Charter ($750 million) and Univision ($600 million). Each one of these was complicated, if not mind-boggling, in their own right. Few businessmen or bankers have the skills or knowledge to handle a single deal this large, let alone one multibillion dollar deal after another  – all in the same six month period. All flawlessly. All without a single complaint on his FINRA record and without losing a single dollar of his clients.

If he had a drug addiction during this period, he is superhuman. And someone should bottle his DNA.


In a January 10, 2013 issue of Hollywood Reporter entitled, “How did this happen to Brian Mulligan?” one source (that refused to be named) called him arrogant. However, in the discovery process for his lawsuit, the LAPD demanded to see internal records and evaluations of Mulligan while at Deutche Bank. Hoping to find evidence of an unlikable, drug-addicted banker, the LAPD was sadly disappointed. In fact, their plan backfired. The internal evaluations of the performance of Brian Mulligan, something even Mulligan himself would have previously been unable to see, are now a matter of public record. Out of all the many dozens of private evaluation comments about Mulligans by his peers, subordinates, and superiors over the prior three years, not one was uncomplimentary. Here is a sampling, but there are dozens more.

“Recognizes the value of diverse team members and opinions. Acknowledges the contributions of others. Seeks to learn from mistakes rather than seeking to criticize or blame.”

“Creates belief that more is possible than people would otherwise believe could be accomplished.”

“Brian is able to open doors and gain access to almost any executive in the media/entertainment industry and usually has a strong, good experience with a party close or even with that executive – this enables us to leapfrog years of relationship building and position us for a good dialog.”  

“Brian is able to connect people and gain information from the Hollywood scene – in a heavily banked sector, this sets us apart”

“Brian is supportive of his team and is equally respectful of lower level personnel – a great person to work with”

“Brian really knows the media and entertainment business – the people, the history, the dynamics, how it really operates, this is absolutely invaluable”

“During 2011, Brian’s efforts directly resulted in significant fee events and/or clients progress with Disney, DirecTV, Univision, MGM, Eros and Prime Focus, amongst numerous others. Resultantly, DB continues to make dramatic strides and take market share in the Media space”


“Clients know Brian, trust him, and genuinely enjoy working with him. I have seen firsthand, the reverence and appreciation which Gary Barber at MGM, Kevin Mayer at Disney, and Namit Malhotra at Prime Focus have for Brian. In many ways, he is the public face of DB’s Media & Entertainment franchise and has done a stellar job.”  

“Well-liked by his peers, teams and clients”

“Top notch work ethic”  

“Strong leader and mentor”  

“Tireless work ethic”

“Well-liked by clients and team-mates alike”   

“Terrific boss, wonderful mentor, true friend” 

These performance evaluation comments are written with the understanding that the employee being evaluated would never see these comments. They had to feel safe to rat people out. Even in the dog-eat-dog world of banking, not one person had a negative thing to say about the character, kindness, integrity, competence or work ethic of Brian Mulligan. He comes off as the anti-thesis of arrogance. Mulligan seemed to have no enemies outside of the LAPD.

As Mulligan attempts a personal and professional comeback, friends remain bewildered. “It has been the most out-of-expectation event for somebody that I knew well that I can remember,” says Bruce Hack, a long time acquaintance and onetime CFO of Universal Studios. And a family friend of the Mulligans says they have always appeared to be a devoted, tight-knit bunch. “You hear stories about investment bankers in New York, partying all the time. They weren’t anything like that,” this person says. That’s why none of us can figure this out.”  Hollywood Reporter

Perhaps the reason people can’t “figure this out” is because the story of Mulligan was crafted by the LAPD to create hysteria and distract from the real issues at hand. Even the original police report can’t make up its mind about whether Mulligan was calm, clear-headed and drug-free, or whether he was trying to steal cars, or whether he was trying to scare police by pretending to be a bear. No wonder the DA’s office refused to file charges. The LAPD tried to convince the DA’s offices to file charges on two separate occasions, once the day after the beating, and again after the police report was leaked to the press. Not only did the DA’s office refuse, but the City Attorney’s office responsible for misdemeanors adamantly refused to press any charges as well. 

What is certain, however, is that even if Mulligan did admit to taking White Lightning in the past, he did not deserve this. No matter what police allege he said, or slurped, or snorted, or coughed, or munched, or drank, or confessed doing in the past, it was irrelevant. He was not on drugs that night, he was committing no crimes, he was hurting no one, and he did not deserve to have a broken eye socket, concussion, shattered nose, 54 stitches and a ruined reputation because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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And he most certainly was not trying to commit Grand Theft Auto.

Brian Mulligan was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and when police messed up, they messed with the wrong man. He must have wondered if something like this could happen to someone like him, what were they capable of doing to people more vulnerable?

Mulligan sued the LAPD, not because he needed the money, but because he had the means to help get dangerous officers off the street.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 6.01.07 PM Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 6.06.25 PM

Even though Mulligan’s reputation has taken a temporary hit, the silver lining was that the more effort the LAPPL put into publicizing falsehoods about the Brian Mulligan story, the more this high-profile story has given other victims of Officer Nichols the courage to come forward with their own allegations of rape, assault, and extortion.

One case was already settled. Read it here. Read another account HERE. There are now currently six female victims who survived traumatic assaults from the same officer who nearly killed Mulligan. At least two of them mentioned the exposure of the Mulligan case as part of what motivated them to speak up.


It’s clear that the Brian Mulligan story grew in color and sensationalism between the 2012 police report and today. In the 2012 report, there was no mention of growling, frothing at the mouth, dragging a trash can through the street, running in traffic or imagining someone in his nightstand – yet these things and more have been reported with relentless fervor in stories nationwide.

Mulligan may have temporarily and unfairly lost his reputation as a result of the LAPPL retaliation machine after his decision to fight back, but there’s no doubt he is already making a comeback. Based on the consistent positive feedback of his colleagues, Mulligan seems like a kind, helpful man of great character who cares about everyone everyone around him, especially the downtrodden. If this is true, Mulligan might just find the hit on his public prestige worth the sacrifice since his story helped rape victims finally get taken seriously and be treated with the dignity they deserve. Whether he wins or loses in the legal system, by getting someone dangerous off the street, at least he can have the satisfaction of knowing that what he had to suffer might have helped save lives.

While the LAPD and LAPPL have tried desperately to cast Mulligan as a lost soul, to those who have been positively impacted by his decisions or know the true story of what the LAPD and LAPPL has done to him for trying to get a bad cop off the street, Mulligan is seen as a hero.


The shocking untold story around how these myths came to be treated as truth, and the involvement of LAPD, the City Attorney’s office, the Police Officer’s Union and the media will be covered in Part 2.

—Stay Tuned for Part 2


Deposition of LAPD Expert on Police Conduct in Mulligan’s case.

The lawsuit against Eric Rose and the LAPPL has been consolidated and is moving forward.

Mulligan’s case against the LAPD is on appeal.


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