A former Bakersfield police officer assigned to train a recruit who was fired in 2015 and then sued for sexual harassment and wrongful termination and other claims took the stand Monday and denied the allegations against him.
The testimony of Travis Brewer, who eventually resigned from the Bakersfield Police Department, painted a dramatically different picture than the events described by the plaintiff, Hillary Bjorneboe, who testified at the start of the trial last week. Brewer and another training officer, Steven Glenn, are named in the lawsuit along with the police department and City of Bakersfield.
The lawsuit alleges that Glenn and Brewer told their trainee she was expected to sleep with their training officers, asked her if she was gay, questioned her dating life and called her a "whore."
Brewer denied all those accusations on the stand Monday.
The lawsuit further alleges that Brewer ordered his recruit to do things she felt were not right — like omit from a report a finding of marijuana on a suspect during a routine stop. Bjorneboe alleged in her complaint that Brewer told her to report a meth pipe found on the woman but not the marijuana, and to put the marijuana in his vehicle's trunk.
In Brewer's telling of that incident on Monday, he knew of no marijuana on the suspect, only a meth pipe.
Bjorneboe also testified last week that the relationship between she and Brewer changed dramatically after an incident in which he tried to get her to change information in an arrest report and she refused.
After that incident, Bjorneboe said Brewer grew angry at her. Afterward, they responded to a local night club where a caller said a man had threatened patrons with a gun. She said Brewer sat in the patrol car on his phone as the bouncer pointed out the suspect, who was getting on a motorcycle, about to drive away.
Brewer remembered the call to the night club in a completely different way. He said they were called out for a narcotics investigation and it was determined to be chalk used for playing pool found in the back of a car. There was no report of a firearm, he said.
Brewer at one point grew emotional when asked if he ever made a statement to the effect that he "only makes boys, not girls." As he spoke about a daughter who was stillborn, he began to cry on the stand and asked if he could have a break.
Brewer denied ever calling Bjorneboe a "whore" but that she used the word once when referring to a family member of Glenn's who had become pregnant at a young age. Brewer also said Bjorneboe used a racial slur when they responded to an incident involving African-Americans but he never reported it to his higher-ups because he believed she would get fired for it.
Brewer eventually left the department after it tried to terminate him following an internal affairs investigation into some of Bjorneboe's allegations, he said. He was also placed on a "do not hire" list for law enforcement agencies, he said, as was Bjorneboe, as a result of the investigation.