Turns out pretty much the only person in town who hasn't witnessed deputies beating inmates at L.A. County Jail is Sheriff Lee Baca, who has his attention focused on a cop who smuggled a cellphone into the lockup for FBI agents investigating said beat-downs.
Maybe he should spend some time there.
An ACLU report released today is calling for Baca's resignation after stating that …
” … chaplains and other civilians have come forward with first-hand accounts” of the beatings.
LA Weekly also has some accounts, here.
No disrespect to our kick-ass reporter, Chris Vogel, but it appears that coming across a county jail beating is like finding a nut job in the Republican race for president.
How Baca continues to aim his focus elsewhere is pure political theater.
The ACLU alleged today that reports by witnesses of the allegedly unnecessary tune-ups were ignored (although Baca will tell you his department is perfectly capable of policing itself — yeah, right).
The civil rights org also alleges that the beatings happened at the hands of packs of deputies, not just one, and that they “enlist other inmates to carry out their orders of abuse.”
Fun for the whole family. The ACLU:
In one instance, inmates sexually assaulted another inmate with a broomstick, while on another occasion others raped an inmate while holding his head in a flushing toilet; all with the apparent cooperation of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department employees.
An FBI agent called the tune-ups “far more severe than the beating of Rodney King” and blamed “gang-like groups” of deputies.
Here's the money quote from Margaret Winter, associate director of the ACLU National Prison Project:
… What is most stunning of all is the stubborn refusal of Sheriff Baca, the man in charge, to acknowledge there's even a problem.
Lee Baca is an elected official. So … he's all yours, people.
Read more here.