LOS ANGELES – A judge Thursday dismissed a criminal case against two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies who were charged with filing a false report that the prosecution contended covered up one deputy’s alleged use of excessive force during a 2018 arrest in East Los Angeles.
Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen found insufficient evidence to allow the case against Woodrow Kim and Jonathan Miramontes to proceed to trial, according to Kim’s attorney, Joshua Ritter.
In a statement released after the case was dismissed, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said, “We have confidence in our prosecutor’s ability to appropriately represent the District Attorney’s Office and are currently assessing whether to refile the case.”
Kim’s attorney countered, “I think their case is as good as it’s ever going to get, and today a judge determined that’s not good enough.”
Ritter called the charges “weak at best and perhaps politically motivated at worst” and said the allegations “caused damage to both my client’s reputation and career over the past year.”
Kim, 40, and Miramontes, 31, were charged last August with one felony count each of filing a false report. Kim was also charged with a felony count of assault under the color of authority.
Kim was accused of opening the driver’s side door of a patrol vehicle and knocking a man to the ground following a vehicle pursuit that ended in Ruben Salazar Park on Sept. 19, 2018, according to a statement issued by the District Attorney’s Office the day the case was filed.
Kim and Miramontes were responding to an assault with a deadly weapon call involving occupants in a black BMW who had allegedly threatened a motorist with a gun, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The two deputies were relieved of duty last Aug. 20, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said shortly after the charges were filed.
Ritter said he is hopeful his client will get his job back.