Having Sheriff’s deputies arrested is off-putting in itself, but having no less than 18 deputies under scrutiny for crimes ranging from civil rights misuse to corruption is one shocking story federal officials have revealed this week. With the unsealing of five separate criminal cases, well over a dozen former and current officials from Los Angeles County are being investigated by the FBI, the Huffington Post shares this Monday, Dec. 9, 2013.
The Sheriff’s deputies arrested are being investigated under numerous allegations, including bribery within the U.S. jail system and civil rights dishonesty, by the FBI. These charges were officially stated at a press conference this Monday, with 16 of the 18 defendants being put under arrest earlier this morning. All are expected to be arraigned in due time to the U.S. District Court.
"These incidents did not take place in a vacuum — in fact, they demonstrated behavior that had become institutionalized," said U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. "The pattern of activity alleged in the obstruction of justice case shows how some members of the Sheriff's Department considered themselves to be above the law."
A total of four grand jury indictments as well as a formal criminal complaint against the accused include unmerited jail inmates beatings, wrongful detentions, obstruction of justice from a federal investigation, and criminal misconduct in the Men’s Central Jail. The Sheriff’s deputies arrested may only have been brought into light this week, but a look-into regarding these allegations including excessive force have been under scrutiny since 2011 at the very earliest.
“Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore referred all calls for this situation to the FBI. He added that Sheriff Lee Baca would provide a comment later this week on the cited civil corruption.
"We've cooperated fully with the FBI in their investigation and we'll continue to do so," Whitmore said.
The fate of these 18 charged deputies will eventually lay in the hands of the federal courts.