The ongoing defamation trial against Johnny Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard, saw several former friends and employees of Depp testifying on Thursday.
Outside of those circles, LAPD detective Marie Sadanaga also testified via a pre-recorded video. She talked about the protocol taken against domestic violence as she addressed Depp and Heard’s penthouse incident.
On May 21, 2016, LAPD detective Marie Sadanaga allegedly responded to a domestic violence call at Depp’s Los Angeles penthouse but could not pinpoint any crime.
In the bodycam footage released in court, Officer William Gatlin is shown knocking on the penthouse door with a partner.
This visit apparently happened after two other officers had already visited the place. Gatlin claimed that he came as close as 10-15 feet to Heard, but the actress did not reveal any physical injuries or damage to the property.
After a few questions by Chew, Waldman's video deposition concludes. Heard's next witness is Marie Sadanaga, a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. Sadanaga is the department's Domestic Violence Coordinator. #JohnnyDeppVsAmberHeard @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/mWJiRgQJxw — Sierra Gillespie (@sierragillespie) May 19, 2022
Heard was reportedly present at the place with her friends while Depp was nowhere near. The footage also had a woman’s voice saying that other officers had already visited the penthouse and that everyone was fine. In the background, someone was also mentioning that “Johnny” was not there.
As he spoke to Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft, Officer Gatlin claimed that the investigation shows that the “Aquaman” actress was presumably not a victim of domestic violence. The reason was that she refused to give “any visible or verifiable injuries to her.”
On the other hand, LAPD officer Marie Sadanaga explained the protocols of domestic violence while responding to the incident.
Who is Marie Sadanaga? Everything on the LAPD officer and her Testimony
Marie Sadanaga is a detective based in Los Angeles who currently contributes to the Los Angeles Police Department as the domestic violence coordinator for the department.
Her personal life is undisclosed, although she recently made headlines after testifying in the defamation trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
The detective opened her testimony by outlining the department's protocol, stating that all officers are expected to make an arrest or file a report in the presence of a suspect if they suspect a case of domestic violence, even if the victim is unwilling.
“If officers determine that there was domestic violence, even if a victim is reluctant, our policy is they still make that arrest if the suspect is there, or take that report.”
Sadanaga: If officers determine that there was domestic violence, even if a victim is reluctant, our policy is they still make that arrest if the suspect is there, or take that report.#JohnnyDeppVsAmberHeard @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/wGDQk5djdW — Sierra Gillespie (@sierragillespie) May 19, 2022
Sadanaga also claimed to have "personally experienced" problems with some domestic violence survivors who refused to disclose their assault and declined to provide a statement. To develop a connection with the victim, detectives typically try to teach them about the "cycle of violence, power, and control," she added.
She did clarify, though, that a victim may not be coerced to talk about their ordeal. The detective went on to say that officers responding to domestic violence incidents have the right to assess whether there is enough evidence to make witness statements.
They must first evaluate if there is a "visible injury" before determining if a crime has been committed.
Sadanaga: The officers would still need to determine if there was enough evidence there to make witness statements ... They still need to do an investigation if there's a visible injury. They need to determine if it's a crime.#JohnnyDeppVsAmberHeard @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/vTk8isgXOm — Sierra Gillespie (@sierragillespie) May 19, 2022
In other circumstances, Sadanaga added, the documentation is also useful. However, neither of the two police trips to Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's penthouse on May 21, 2016, led to the filing of a domestic violence report.