DOJ Arrests 18 LA Sheriff’s Deputies

The Department of Justice and the FBI have indicted 18 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies for what they call a pattern of rampant corruption and abuse of inmates at the nation’s largest municipal jail system, one they says was encouraged by the leaders of that department.

Eighteen current and former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies were indicted as part of an FBI investigation into alleged civil rights abuses and corruption, federal prosecutors said Monday…

The two-year FBI probe focused on allegations that sheriff’s officials had fostered a culture in which deputies were permitted to beat and humiliate inmates and cover up misconduct at the nation’s largest county jail.

“Our investigation also found that these incidents did not take place in a vacuum — in fact, they demonstrated behavior that had become institutionalized,” U.S. Attorney André 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.”

The four indictments and a criminal complaint allege “a wide scope of illegal conduct,” Birotte said. “This investigation started by focusing on misconduct in county jails, and we uncovered examples of civil rights violations that included excessive force and unlawful arrests.”

If you find anything other than the indictments themselves remotely surprising, you haven’t been paying attention.

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  • keithb

    The one thing I found surprising is that they were also roughing up *visitors*.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Joe Arpaio must be very proud right now. Imitation, flattery, all that.

  • mtsolomon

    I have to say, I am surprised by some of the allegations in these indictments. Not the roughing up prisoners (and guests) or covering up their abusive practices, as that is normal practice for police.

    But I’ve never heard of local cops going to an FBI agent’s house to intimidate her by threatening to arrest her on trumped up charges. I mean, how the hell did they think threatening the FBI was a good idea that would not end in a whole mess of jail time?

  • theschwa

    Wait, the federal government is FINALLY going after real criminals?? No more medical marijuana dispensaries? No more Occupy Wall Street groups? Am I awake? What year is this?

  • Wylann

    After reading the article, I suspect this wouldn’t have been nearly as bad (for the sherriff/deputies) as it turned out, if the deputies hadn’t been so blatant about their attempts to stymie the investigation. Nothing irritates an authoritarian person or organization (like, say, the FBI) more than having their authority questioned and/or undermined. I suspect all of that behavior actually prompted deeper investigations.

    So, I say to the LA sheriffs dept: Well played. 😀

  • Doug Little

    So are they currently being held in the same jail? If so is this proof of karma?

  • freehand

    I’d just like to add my appreciation to everyone else’s for those deputies who thought that threatening the FBI directly at an agent’s house would be a good idea. Kudos!

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    If you find anything other than the indictments themselves remotely surprising, you haven’t been paying attention.


    In Portland, 10ish years ago, there was a sheriff’s deputy (or maybe PPS cop, but I think deputy) that bragged online about not just beating inmates and getting away with it, but beating inmates, enjoying it, telling the inmate during the beating just exactly what lie would be used to get away with the beating, then using that lie, then getting away with it, then telling the inmate that the exact promised lie is what got them off, just to show the inmate that anything could happen with no consequences to the deputies/officers, and so the inmate better grovel in fear and obey every order, legal or not.

    Let’s see if google can get me a link:

    Ah, yes. It’s actually worse than I remembered.

    Read this boast:

    crushed a dude’s eye socket from repeatedly punching him in it, then I charged him with menacing and harassment (of me). He took a plea to get away from me. He shoulda picked somebody else to try to fight.”

    That’s right. Though the full context isn’t present here, apparently he deliberately punched the guy repeatedly knowing that he was going beyond the bounds of justified use of force, and then charged the inmate with a crime for getting beaten up by a deputy.

    I was wrong about something though, it was only 6 years ago. Ugh.

    During the investigation he claimed that he was lying about lying, and that really on the job he only told the truth. Off the internet, he insisted, he was entirely trustworthy.

    Uh huh.

  • dingojack

    Wait now – don’t sheriffs have hidden super powers? Or is it that they only work on the planet Wingnuttia?

    😉 Dingo


    Crip Dyke – what’s a PPS cop? (IASF)