The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California has filed a federal action-suit against the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department seeking to force changes to clean up troubled jails, reports Witness LA. The suit charges that Sheriff Lee Baca and various other officials all knew about “a longstanding, widespread pattern of violence by deputies against inmates in the county jails” but allowed the abuse to continue.
The 77-page complaint details many alleged incidents of inmates being slugged, tased, kicked, head-bashed, slammed, and in one case scalp-carved by deputies, with several incidents occurring in front of witnesses, while the inmate was handcuffed, or both. Many of the beatings reportedly resulted in multi-day hospital stays and permanent injuries. The ACLU’s Peter Eliasberg and Margaret Winter of the ACLU National Prison Project expect the lawsuit to result in a federal injunction that will force the sheriff’s department into “real accountability.”