Kiley Swaine (2020)
On January 27, 2020, Swaine was arrested on suspicion of mail theft. Torrance California Police Department officers Christopher Tomsic and Cody Weldin spray-painted a swastika and a happy face inside Swaine's car before having it towed.
After Swaine retrieved his car, he reported the incident to the department.
Both officers were placed on leave pending an investigation.
In April 2020, the department referred the incident to the District Attorney.
On July 21, 2020, Weldin left the department.
On September 18, 2020, Tomsic left the department.
On August 19, 2021, the District Attorney charged the officers with vandalism and conspiracy to commit vandalism.
On August 19. 2021, both officers pleaded not guilty.
During the investigation, a search of the officers' phones revealed text messages with other officers that included racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic comments. The state Attorney General launched a separate investigation.
In January 2022, Swaine filed a lawsuit that accused the officers of unlawful search and seizure, unlawful taking of his property, and violating his constitutional rights.
Swaine was cleared of the mail theft charges.
In February 2023, the city paid Swaine $750,000 to settle the lawsuit.
The officers' body-worn cameras showed that there was no graffiti in the car during the arrest.
- Adam Gabbatt, California city pays $750k to Jewish man accusing cops of painting swastika in car, The Guardian, 2023-03-21
- Christian Martinez, Torrance pays $750,000 to man after police accused of painting swastika in his car, Los Angeles Times, 2023-03-20
- James Queally, Ex-Torrance police officers charged with spray-painting swastika on car, Los Angeles Times, 2021-08-19
- Torrance: 2 ex-police officers charged with vandalism after swastika spray-painted on impounded car, ABC 7, 2021-08-20
- Former Torrance Police Officers Charged With Conspiracy, Vandalism[, District Attorney's Office, 2021-08-19
- Snejana Farberov, HUNDREDS of criminal cases will be reviewed in California after two cops plead not guilty to spray-painting swastika and a happy face onto suspect's car, Daily Mail, 2021-08-20
- James Queally, Federal lawsuit filed against city of Torrance in police racist text scandal, Los Angeles Times, 2022-01-21