It was about 5 p.m. at Men's Central Jail when sheriff's deputies were getting ready to release temporary inmate Steven Chavez.
But as we've seen, bad things can happen at that jail, anytime and in any part of the jail, even the visiting room.
Suddenly, says Chavez, and without warning, three officers starting beating him.
According to Ed Garcia, attorney for Chavez, the deputies handcuffed Chavez and hammered him with flashlights. Then they allegedly shot him with pepper spray.
Chavez was taken to the hospital, where he remained for five days. He was treated for broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
Garcia says that the underlying charges against Chavez – the reason he was in the can – were completely dismissed, but that the officers claimed Chavez was being combative prior to the beating and charged him for resisting.
The case went to trial, says Garcia, and Chavez lost. Garcia says the only evidence that Chavez harmed the officers was one of the deputies claiming that his hand was swollen after the incident.
Chavez is now appealing the conviction, says Garcia, and is suing the City of Los Angeles and several deputies in federal court for using excessive force.