Los Angeles Jail Investigation Takes a Twist to the Past Jail Chief

Boldly stepping up Sheriff Lee Baca said “”I accepted responsibility for alleged deficiencies in the jails, where it was later revealed that input from a variety of sources, including Department members, was not adequately addressed or possibly ignored. This is unfortunate and unacceptable,” Baca wrote in an article reported in the LA Times by reporters Robert Faturechi and Jack Leonard. This article also states that “The County’s jails have come under intensifying criticism since The Times reported in September that federal authorities were investigating reports of inmate abuse and other deputy misconduct.” It is with most certainties that Sheriff Baca will find those culperable for such misconduct and punish them appropriately. There are also cases that might reveal federal “color of law” ivil rights cviolations such as excessive force uses that might result in criminal charges filed against jail personnel, both past and present under the statutory requirements for such offenses.

Sheriff Lee Baca has said he would take personal responsibility in the recent jail abuses and cases of excessive force reported to the LA Times and the Department of Justice, he has does just that. He is at the front of the problem by making sure that employees are aware of his message that they are not to underreport their problems with jail inmates and coworkers hence coincidently allowing a barrier or buffer between themselves and their supervisors to exist thus “insulate” decision makers from the “bad news” that there are incidents occurring that require the attention of administrative staff.

Summarizing their action plan to investigate reported discrepancies the Sheriff is focusing on the events and activities inside the Men’s Central Jail and looking at past practices and cultural customs and traditions under a former official identified as a ranking captain in Sheriff Baca’s command structure. The probe will attempt to reveal how alleged criminal matters reported to the Department of Justice and the media were handled or if they were covered up by past and present jail officials still working in the capacity of supervising jail prisoners today.



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