According to the suit, James Royal tried to get his superiors to issue a warning about the shootings twice before the fatal shooting of Tristan Beaudette in June of last year. But both times, the request was denied.
“He wanted to warn the public. He didn’t. There’s a tragedy,” Royal’s attorney Matthew McNicholas said. “So he feels that weight.”
The Beaudette family filed a $90 million lawsuit against several agencies, alleging they didn’t do enough to warn the public about the fact that there had been multiple unsolved shootings in the area dating back to 2016. It was after this suit was filed that Royal said he was moved to the Santa Clarita substation and stripped of his detective duty.
“They want to knuckle him down,” McNicholas said. “They want to control him as a witness.”
According to McNicholas, Royal will soon be a witness in the wrongful death lawsuit.
A spokesman for the sheriff’s department would not comment on the suit.
Royal is still involved in an internal investigation with the department.