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Beverly Hills man files suit against city police alleging harassment

A Beverly Hills  man who has been investigated for nearly four years in connection with his wife’s death has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Beverly Hills Police Department, accusing officers of harassment and intimidation.

Gary Klein, whose wife, Rina, died in 2009 after being rushed to the hospital with seizures, alleged in court papers that police lacked probable cause to search his home three times and that they attempted to intimidate him by interviewing his aged parents,  young children and other family members.

An initial autopsy suggested Rina’s death was the result of multiple medical conditions. A second autopsy performed on her exhumed body was inconclusive.

The suit alleges that Klein’s former mother-in-law convinced police that Klein had killed 41-year-old Rina. Klein and his in-laws have been embroiled in litigation concerning Rina’s estate and visitation of Klein's children.

“The BHPD quickly fixated upon a theory that Rina had been murdered by plaintiff, despite
the lack of any evidence and based entirely on self-serving and irrational accusations by Rina’s mentally unbalanced mother,” the lawsuit said.

Klein has gone to court several times to try to unseal affidavits police filed in support of searches.  Los Angeles County judges, citing the ongoing police investigation into Rina’s death, have refused to unseal those records.

A lawyer representing the Police Department could not be reached for comment Friday. Beverly Hills detectives have refused to discuss their probe of Klein, and a city official contacted Friday did not have an immediate response.

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-- Maura Dolan

 
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