So after years of ignorance and denial, Sheriff Lee Baca only recently acknowledged that — yes — deputies beat people, sometimes even visitors, in his L.A. County Jail.

Now comes word that Capt. Daniel Cruz has been relieved of duty as part of the department's internal investigation into the beatings.

Fall guy or bad guy? Journalist Celeste Fremon has unearthed some dirt on Cruz, and it ain't pretty:

While the extent of Cruz's supervision over the beatings or lack thereof isn't entirely clear, dude was in charge of the jails from April 2008 to December 2010 when many a cranium was busted (and when internal investigations appeared to overlook key witnesses).

But that's not the worst of it. At least not yet.

Fremon is reporting that the captain (oh captain) was at the infamous holiday party that ended up in a brawl among at least seven deputies at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello last December. And …

… He allegedly turned away local police called to the scene.

As we originally reported, the fight involved deputies assigned to — you guessed it — Men's Central Jail.

The District Attorney's office declined to prosecute.

Fremon says that when Montebello police arrived to the scene Cruz allegedly waved them off with a “Code 4” — meaning law's already there, things are under control.

Yeah right. Lt. Michael Bergman of the Montebello department told Fremon:

He's a Sheriff's Department Captain. So when our sergeant saw no obvious victims, and the supervising officer says, 'We've got a handle on this,' we took his word for it.”

She goes on to report that sources indicate Cruz was a “buddy-buddy” type when it comes to supervising his jail deputies and that he moves super slow on beating complaints — which expire in a year.

Things that make you go hmm.


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