The Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation trial recently saw LAPD detective Marie Sadanaga taking the stand to testify via a pre-recorded video deposition. The officer spoke about the protocol taken against domestic violence while addressing Depp and Heard’s penthouse incident.
On May 21, 2016, the LAPD reportedly responded to a domestic violence call at Depp and Heard's Los Angeles penthouse but could not determine an actual crime. Bodycam footage released in court by Officer William Gatlin showed him knocking on the penthouse door with a partner.
The visit reportedly came after two other officers had already checked the venue. Gatlin testified that he came as close as 10-15 feet to Heard, but the latter did not show him any physical injuries or damage to property.
The Aquaman star was reportedly present at the venue with her friends, but Depp was nowhere to be seen. The voice of a woman can also be heard on the footage saying that other officials had already visited the penthouse and everyone was doing fine. Someone could also be heard mentioning that “Johnny” was not present at the residence.
Speaking to Amber Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft, Officer Gatlin said that based on the investigation, it was likely that the actress was presumably not a victim of domestic violence as she refused to provide “any visible or verifiable injuries to her,” and the officers failed to observe the same.
Meanwhile, LAPD officer Marie Sadanaga explained the domestic violence protocol in relation to the response provided to Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s penthouse incident.
Everything about Marie Sadanaga and her testimony during the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation trial
Marie Sadanaga is a detective who works at the Los Angeles Police Department and serves as the domestic violence coordinator for the department. Not much is known about her personal life, but she recently made news after testifying during the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial.
The detective began her testimony by explaining the policy of the department and mentioned that all officers are required to make an arrest in the presence of a suspect or take a report if they determine a case of domestic violence even if the victim is reluctant:
“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 also said that she has “personally experienced” issues with several domestic violence survivors who refused to report their abuse and refrained from making a statement. She said that officers often try to educate them about the “cycle of violence and power and control” to establish a connection with the victim.
However, she clarified that a victim could not be forced into opening up about their experience. The detective further explained that officers responding to domestic violence are also entitled to determine if there is enough evidence there to make witness statements.
They are required to investigate if there is a “visible injury” and then determine if a crime was committed. Sadanaga added that the documentation is also useful in certain cases. However, in Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's case, neither of the two police visits to the penthouse on May 21, 2016 resulted in the filing of a domestic violence report.