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article imageL.A. County deputies arrested for prisoner abuse

By Cameron Christner     Dec 9, 2013 in Crime
Eighteen L.A. sheriffs deputies face charges of prisoner abuse, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice in an ongoing FBI jail abuse investigation.
Among those arrested are two lieutenants, two sergeants, and three deputies. These seven were specifically singled out for allegedly attempting to hide an FBI informant, after finding his cell phone during a cell search.
Anthony Brown, convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to life in prison, had been documenting incidents of prisoner abuse, using his cell phone to send pictures, video, and names of abusive guards to the FBI.
The seven deputies allegedly took Brown to a different cell, changed his name, and interrogated him about his actions.
FBI agents trying to get in touch with Brown were met with falsified reports saying that he had been released.
Sheriff's official denied these allegations, saying Brown was moved not to hide him from the FBI, but to protect him from other deputies.
18 were arrested Monday in connection with the case, two of which no longer work for the department. Included among the alleged wrongdoing were incidents of prisoner and visitor abuse, corruption, and misconduct, including threats, bullying, and intimidation of inmates.
The arrestees have since been relieved of duty and their pay suspended, pending further investigation. Sheriff Lee Baca denied any knowledge of the abuse, saying, "Please know that I respect the criminal justice system and no one is above the law."
He further denied that the violence was institutionalized, citing reforms made after concerns surfaced in 2011.
However, a 2012 report by The Citizens' Commission on Jail Violence alleged that a "forceful approach was employed in jails to establish authority over inmates, rather than as a last resort." The investigators concluded that there was a "code of silence" that prevented detection and prevention of the abuse. They further referred to "a culture of aggression among some deputies in the jails."
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