If Sheriff Lee Baca thought the controversy over L.A. County Jail inmate beatings at the hands of his deputies was going to go away quietly, he better think again.
Yesterday we told you how Baca, for the first time, it seems, struck a conciliatory tone by saying he would meet with the ACLU and discuss the beating allegations.
Today the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the county's own watchdog believed deputies got away with the violence because …
… they would come up with stories of “justification” that were impossible to argue with.
Even then the paper got its hands on an L.A. County Office of Independent Review report due to be made public today that says, apparently, 30 jail employees have been disciplined in the last two years for beating inmates.
Baca and his department have maintained that inmates have lied in their allegations of abuse, but it looks like, internally, the department has taken action in what seems to be fairly widespread violence (30 public employees have participated in beatdowns?).
The situation got so dire that our own Chris Vogel reported in spring that deputies had given the occasional free tuneup to those just visiting inmates. And just today the Weekly's Simone Wilson unearthed yet another lawsuit against the department by a former inmate who alleges he was beaten by deputies.
The ACLU recently issued a report (one of a few in recent years) alleging not only abuses behind bars but what amounts to a cover up by the department, with internal investigators allegedly failing to interview even credible (e.g. non inmate) eyewitnesses.
The group as well as Times columnist Steve Lopez have called for Baca's resignation.
So, uh, yeah, no problem at all here.