Sheriff Lee Baca remarked at a press conference yesterday that this was a sad day for his department. At the very least it was a poor choice of words. What is sad each day that Los Angeles County residents have been victimized at the hands of law enforcement, not the day the abusive officers are caught.
Yesterday, 18 of the most violent and abusive deputies were taken off the streets to face some very real consequences for their actions. The only sad part about it was how long justice was delayed for the perpetrators. Most of their victims will never receive compensation.
What is unique about the day Baca calls sad is that police abuse is being acknowledged. His concern should be for the thousands who have been affected by the abuses of the LA County Sheriff’s department over the past four decades.
Baca added that “there is no institutional problem within the Sheriff’s Department when it comes to correcting itself.” Yet it took the FBI and a US Attorney General to begin this process. Contrary to the department correcting itself, Baca was found personally liable for not stopping abuses as Los Angeles jails. If that wasn’t enough, officers within the department are also being charged with conspiracy to impede the FBI investigation.
So to sum up Lee Baca’s position, there is no institutional problem, just decades of isolated abuses and conspiracies to cover up those abuses.
Some of these “non-institutional” abuses in the FBI probe include:
There are too many incidents of police excessive force to list. Currently, our law firm represents the widow of Eugene Mallory, the 80-year-old man who was killed in his bed early one morning by Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies. Not only did Eugene have a clean record, he had held a top level security clearance while working as an engineer for Lockheed.
Deputies got a warrant to raid his home in SWAT fashion after one of them “smelled meth.” There was no meth or anything related to the production, use, or sale of methamphetamine on the premises.
In the wake of every scandal we hear the same lines. “This was an isolated incident” and “99% of law enforcement officers are heroes who do a great job.” Those good law enforcement officers have a clear choice right now. If they want the respect of the public they need to remove the bad apples. It is that simple.
You can’t be a good officer while turning a blind eye to those in your ranks who are breaking the law. If they want the credit for being heroes or having a hard job then they need to do the hard thing; they need to report the officers who are betraying the public.
This is a problem that must be stopped. Out of control officers must be held accountable and victims must be compensated. At Bergener Mirejovsky, our police abuse attorneys take these matters seriously. If you’ve been the victim of police excessive force, call us at 1-800-881-2021 so that we can discuss your options and help you find the answers you need to move forward.
There is a small window of time given to act on a case of police abuse. So we make sure that our attorneys are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for free consultations.