Los Angeles County Jail Scandal

Most citizens of Los Angeles County are now aware of the harsh and toxic conditions that exist inside their county jails as the media has exposed wrongdoings by deputies that work there. In addition, Sheriff Baca announced an “internal investigation into allegations of routine police misconduct and brutality against prisoners after several scandalous incidents were made public. The incidents came to light as a result of testimony by former sheriff’s deputy Joshua Sather, who resigned after being ordered by his superior, Bryan Brunsting, to attack and beat up a mentally ill inmate.” This story was reported just recently that revealed this misconduct and brutality inside these jails. The story goes on to reveal there are most incidents discovered and more instances of “covered up evidence” according to former deputy Brunsting in an interview after his resignation from the force. This deputy made a moral decision to not participate in this gang like behavior by law enforcement officers who had sworn to protect and serve the public but secretly go out on a rampage and seek justice in their own manner acting like vigilantes with a badge.

Sheriff Lee Baca has also announced a task force of investigators to look into these allegations of mass beatings and abuse by deputies under his command. Many are asking how can the Sheriff not know what is going on inside his jails and why didn’t he do something about this misconduct as the chief commander and administrator of the complex and county. The answers will soon be released as the ACLU, the FBI and other civilian task forces are looking into this serious matter in the next few months.

In the meantime, Sheriff Baca will be severely criticized for his lack of knowledge, performance and awareness of his own commanders and his workforce. It is apparent that his current command structure was designed to insulate the sheriff from the daily events handled by mid-level supervisors who have been covering up these beatings and allowing such behavior to continue under the strategies of “tacit approval’ and the “code of silence.” Along with staffing changes, the Sheriff should address the cultural influences that drives these deputies to the idea that beating prisoners, whether mentally ill or not, is appropriate and effective in teaching them lessons not to come to the county jail or face the consequences of being beating by those who wear the star.

It is with much certainty that the majority of deputies that work inside that jail are good and ethical officers and that this misconduct or ranks of abusers makes up about 10 % or less of the workforce. However, the violation of civil rights are serious charges and fall under the “color of law” civil rights violations investigated by the FBI and could result in federal charges at the end of this investigation.



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