LA sheriff deputies face abuse charges

At least 18 current and former Los Angeles County sheriff�™s deputies are under investigation for committing crimes like beating prisoners and jail visitors.

Other crimes the deputies engaged in included falsifying reports and thwarting an FBI investigation.

In one case, the deputies detained and handcuffed the Austrian consul general, and in another instance, they grabbed a man by his neck, forced him to the floor, and pepper sprayed his eyes.

The Los Angeles Sheriff�™s Department oversees the largest jail system in the US with nearly 19,000 prisoners. However, the history of abuse allegations at America�™s largest jail system goes back to the 1970s.

Sixteen of the 18 deputies have been arrested. Thirteen defendants pleaded not guilty, and three others have not entered pleas.

Among the defendants charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice, there are two lieutenants and two sergeants.

One of the lieutenants was responsible for overseeing the department�™s safe jails program and the other for probing accusations of crimes committed by sheriff�™s personnel.

�œThese incidents did not take place in a vacuum. In fact, they demonstrated behavior that had become institutionalized,” US Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said.

“The pattern of activity alleged in the obstruction of justice case shows how some members of the Sheriff’s Department considered themselves to be above the law,” he added.

Birotte refused to say if the alleged crimes committed by the deputies were fostered by the department�™s top brass and if the lieutenants and sergeants charged with the obstruction of justice received orders from their superiors.

ISH/ARA

Source: Press TV