The police brutality case against Oxnard Officer Robert Flinn, delayed for a day while the judge heard a number of motions by defense attorneys, is set to resume this morning with opening statements from the defense.
Ventura County Superior Court Judge Steven Perren spent much of Tuesday wading through defense attorney William Hadden’s objections to prosecutor Mike Frawley’s opening statements. Frawley had alleged that the 29-year-old Flinn was a “bully with a badge” and that there was a police cover-up of the incident.
One of the key objections regarded the admissibility of whether Flinn had violated department policy when he failed to get a supervisor’s approval for the release of Victor Aguiar, who he allegedly beat during an arrest in December 1995.
Frawley said Flinn’s failure was evidence of his consciousness of guilt, but defense attorney Hadden said it proved nothing because the policy was only loosely followed.
Perren said Tuesday he would wait until the case was further along before deciding if there was enough evidence to support Frawley’s argument.
Hadden also asked the judge to allow him to submit evidence that would undermine the credibility of the two men Flinn is alleged to have beaten.
One of the men, Juan Lopez--who was allegedly kneed in the face and hit with a flashlight after running from Flinn in January 1996--allegedly made another claim of police brutality in December.
Police said Lopez was drunk and during an interview recanted the claim, saying that he may have fallen, according to Hadden.
Although Frawley said Lopez has not recanted his statement, Judge Perren granted the motion, saying the information was essential.