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Lee Baca, L.A. County Sheriff, Pissed That FBI Smuggled Cellphone Into His Jail: Shouldn't he be Worried About Inmate Beatings?

L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca is pissed off at the FBI for reportedly smuggling a cellphone into County Jail so that an inmate could spy on deputies' controversial treatment of men behind bars.

You would think that Baca would be more concerned that his deputies' behavior is so alarming that the feds have taken to ninja tactics to ferret out his employees' allegedly ill behavior.

But no, Baca is more concerned with the cellphone:

According to the Los Angeles Times the deputy who allegedly helped get the phone inside, Gilbert Michel, has resigned after the department placed him on leave and investigated him.

And Baca, keeping his eye on the ball, has a meeting with U.S. Atty. André Birotte Jr. "to discuss the phone incident and the growing tensions between the two law enforcement agencies," according to the Times.

Steve Whitmore tells the paper the beatings aren't that bad: "Inmates that complain and say they've been brutalized ... most of them turn out to be not what the inmate said occurred. The ones that turn out to be valid are dealt with appropriately."

Our May cover story on what appeared to be increasing brutality in the lock-ups controlled by the sheriff says otherwise. Read it here.

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]


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