Two sheriff’s deputies have filed a lawsuit against the California sheriff’s department where they are employed, accusing the department of fostering aggressive, gang-like behavior that they said led to their assault at a department holiday party last year. In that incident last year, six sheriff’s deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department assaulted two other male deputies and punched a female deputy in the face who tried to stop the beatings. The attacking deputies worked on the third floor of the Men’s Central Jail and the men who were attacked worked on a different floor.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the men on the third floor of the Men’s Central Jail have been involved in more incidents of using physical force against inmates in the last four years than on any other floor of the jail. The deputies who filed the lawsuit say that the third floor workers had developed into an aggressive, gang-like clique. They accuse their employer of encouraging this aggressive and violent work environment and say that it leads to acts of aggression between inmates, against inmates and between workers at the jail.
A woman with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) who was at the jail one day says that she witnessed two deputies beating an inmate who was unconscious for two minutes, according to the Los Angeles Times. A criminal investigation has been opened in this alleged incident.
The Sheriff’s Department is moving to fire the six workers involved in the assault. The six workers will fight the firing with help from the deputies union. The deputies who were assaulted say that they have suffered lasting damage from the beating.
L.A. County Sheriff’s Department fosters ‘gang-like activity’ among jail deputies, suit alleges (Los Angeles Times)