LA County Sheriff’s officials continue to remain under fire amidst charges of inmate abuse, according to a report by the LA Times.
A number of jail employees, 30 in total, are now facing disciplinary action for abusing and/or covering up abuse of inmates. The Office of Independent Review (OIR), which serves as a “watchdog” for the department, found that stories were often forged as a means of “justifying” physical action against inmates. Disproving those claims, they said, is often difficult to prove.
The report further stated that “only a fraction” of jail employees who used excessive force punished for their actions. The full report, prepared by OIR head Michael Gennaco, is expected to be released later today.
In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Gennaco said jail surveillance cameras had captured footage of an inmate being unjustly tasered. The footage showed a Taser was employed when the inmate was on the ground, on his stomach and not moving or exhibiting signs of resistance.
A number of other incidents similar to this were also cited and because of this, he said, the need for additional jail surveillance cameras is immediate. LA County Sheriff Lee Baca said that 69 additional cameras would be installed inside the Men’s Central Jail by the close of 2011.
Findings from the report will be forwarded to local prosecutors. Criminal charges against the abusers may be filed.