Battle of the Cops

Justin Gill was fired from the Seaside Police Department following his stabbing in Pacific Grove. He is now suing the law enforcement agencies in charge of the investigation.

Four years ago, former Seaside cop Justin Gill was stabbed in the chest. That much is certain.

Back in July of 2012, shortly after 2am, Gill called Pacific Grove police to report he had been stabbed at home. He told officers a man banged on the back door and when he went to open it, the assailant stabbed him and sped away in a car.

During the investigation, Gill conceded he had enemies. A neighbor also confirmed the sound of a man at Gill’s door and a vehicle leaving the residence at a high speed. But as inconsistencies in Gill’s statements piled up, Monterey County prosecutors began to suspect the story had been fabricated and that Gill may have stabbed himself. Prosecutors closed the investigation for lack of evidence.

In May 2013, Gill was terminated from his position at the Seaside Police Department. Six months later, he sued the Pacific Grove Police Department and the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office, the two agencies charged with the investigation of the stabbing, for lost wages, slander and allegedly botching the investigation with malicious intent. In essence, he’s alleging his firing was based on prosecutors’ “feelings and suspicions” that he made up the story.

The suit also states police illegally seized six weapons and numerous magazines from his home after serving a search warrant.

“[The weapons] were not inside a drawer, they were loaded guns in the house,” Chief District Attorney Berkley Brannon says. “There were children there.”

Gill claims prosecutors kept his weapons for their own use and refused to give them back, even after prosecutors decided not to criminally charge him for allegedly fabricating the story. After the suit, the weapons were returned, Brannon says.

Last month, P.G. officials requested Gill’s personnel documents from Seaside Police and were denied based on confidentiality law. P.G. City Manager Ben Harvey declined to comment.

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