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Fired Simi Policeman Sues to Get Job Back

January 09, 1986

Loyd Waters, a Simi Valley police officer who was fired in April for spraying Mace in the face of a handcuffed prisoner, is suing the city to get his job back.

The suit, filed Dec. 26 in Ventura Municipal Court, alleges that Waters' dismissal was "excessive in light of the conduct and circumstances."

Waters claims he sprayed the tear gas at the prisoner, Chris Durkee, because Durkee kept screaming while in a holding cell. Durkee, who was not permanently injured, was subsequently released.

In June, Waters pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor charge of assault under the color of authority. In his July appeal to be reinstated, Waters said he "lost it" when he heard the prisoner screaming because he had worked almost 30 hours of overtime just before the incident.

Despite a recommendation by a city hearing officer that Waters be suspended for 30 days, City Manager Lin Koester upheld Police Chief Lindsey P. Miller's decision to dismiss Waters.

Waters' suit alleges that Miller told him he was being fired because the "political climate had made keeping Loyd an untenable position."

Waters was fired the same day the Ventura County grand jury lauded Simi Valley for making a "dramatic turnaround" from the early 1980s, when the department was rocked by charges of brutality and other misconduct.

In addition to reinstatement, Waters' suit seeks unspecified damages.

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