WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - A controversial search of a man in the District led to an ACLU lawsuit — but now in a FOX 5 exclusive, we're learning that a senior member of the DC Police department has been fired after he claimed the search procedure is part of the general guidance from the department.
J.J. Brennan — a supervisor in the major narcotics branch — says he was given a termination letter the day after he testified last in defense of an officer in a high profile case.
In a video, Officer Sean Lojacono is seen conducting a search of a man in Southeast Washington in 2017. The controversial search led to a lawsuit that was settled out of court. Now, the department wants to fire Lojacono, not for the way he conducted the search in the video, but, according to his attorney, for the way he handled another similar search a few hours later on the same day.
The search, which was recorded by two police body cameras and shown to the trial board, has not been released to the public.
Brennan reviewed the video and then testified as an expert witness saying the search met the general order guidelines of the police department.
“J.J. Brennan wanted to make it very very clear to the panel that this is what is allowed under the general orders. This is what is actually taught and instructed for officers because you have safety as well not only because you could have contraband there but you could also have weapons,” said Lajacono’s attorney Marc Wilhite.
Brennan's testimony was countered by as many as three other police officers, including his commander who gave him the termination letter the next day.
In the letter, it laid out a complaint and quoted Brennan as saying you follow the rules and general orders of the police department “when you can” and "I always told people that worked for me, don't be afraid to go up in the crotch.” The letter goes on to say the commander had lost confidence in Brennan's ability to manage members of the major narcotics unit.
Brennan spent 43 years on the force as a sergeant and was currently serving as a civilian supervisor when he was fired.
FOX 5 spoke with Brennan by phone Tuesday. He said he is "very bitter and angry" over his firing.