Critic Cites Code Of Silence In LA Sheriff Agency


Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca must try to end a code of silence among deputies who refuse to report internal misconduct, says an official appointed to review the department.

The Los Angeles Times reports that “in too many instances, deputies’ powers of observation and recall have failed during investigations of incidents involving use of force, despite training that demands attention to detail.” The conclusion was attributed to Michael Gennaco, who was appointed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Gennaco cited a deputy who told investigators that he had been looking for a flashlight and could not remember details of a use-of-force incident, despite his acknowledged participation in a scuffle with a suspect who had scratched fellow officers and ripped their clothing.

In its first report, the sheriff’s watchdog said the department had not investigated more than 800 claims of wrongdoing by deputies over a decade, missing chances to uncover misconduct and limit liability.


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