10 Jail Workers Relieved Of Duty After Inmate Says He Got No Food For 32 Hours
Ten county jail employees were "relieved of duty" after an inmate alleged he was restrained and provided no food for 32 hours.
In a press release on Saturday, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said, "I expect every member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to perform at the highest standards of professionalism." He added that the investigation into the incident would be "thorough" and will also focus on the policies and procedures regarding how inmates are treated. On Friday, the McDonnell relieved two lieutenants, one sergeant, one senior deputy, four deputies and two custody assistants of their duties, and also "reassigned" an unspecified number of other staff members.
"I am deeply committed to providing the highest levels of constitutional care to those in our charge and will quickly address and remedy any conduct, policies or practices that do not meet this expectation and high standard," said Sheriff McDonnell. In 2014, McDonnell was elected to take over after Lee Baca. He told LAist that he wanted to bring a "fresh set of eyes" to the department.
The alleged incident took place on June 19 when the unnamed male inmate was booked at the Inmate Reception Center and was restrained after he reportedly assaulted a female deputy. Although he ate upon entering the jail, he not given food for the 32 hours he was restrained, and only received a cup of water and medical attention.
The inmate filed a complaint on June 27 and McDonnell was notified of the incident on Thursday—he made his personnel decisions on Friday.
This incident is the latest in a string of allegations regarding the cover-up of inmate abuse in the county's jail system. Last month, two deputies and a supervisor were found guilty in the brutal beating of a jail visitor.
The Sheriff's Department is currently being investigated by the FBI for the jail abuses and corruption among their ranks. In May, former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka and a captain were indicted on charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy.
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