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L.A. County Deputy Resigns After Saying He Was Forced to Beat Mentally Ill Inmate

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A rookie and "honor recruit" from the L.A. County Sheriff's department resigned shortly after he said that he was forced to beat a mentally ill inmate, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The 23-year-old rookie Joshua Sather had been working a shift at the jail downtown last year, when he called his uncle a veteran in the department crying. He complained that he had been forced to beat up a mentally disabled inmate. He quit almost immediately after and now works in oil fields in Colorado.

Neither Sather nor his uncle would talk to the Los Angeles Times, so there may have never been a record of this event if Sather's uncle hadn't gotten involved. After Sather complained, his uncle Steven Sather went down to the jail to confront his supervisor. At one point, he threatened to put a bullet in the supervisors head. Then the department decided to go after him.

Steven Sather told investigators: "Honestly … I can't believe this is even happening.... I can't believe this guy. First of all [he] gets away with … this stuff. And now he's … coming after me criminally?"

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This revelation comes at a time when the FBI is investigating allegations of deputy abuse and misconduct in the jails. Many of the people who have come forward as first-hand witnesses of the beatings have been outsiders, like chaplains and a movie producer who visited the jail. But this witness account is different because it comes from inside the fold.

Here is the account:


On March 22, 2010, Sather was working on the sixth floor mental health ward of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown L.A. At some point during his shift, he, his supervisor and other deputies used force on the mentally ill inmate. Soon afterward, Sather, a muscled, tattooed 23-year-old, called his uncle, Steven Sather, crying and distraught, records show. The young man apparently told his uncle that the beating was unwarranted and then had been covered up. The elder Sather told his nephew to do the "right thing" and be honest about what occurred.

The next day, worried that the rookie might be planning to quit, Steven Sather drove to Twin Towers intent on saving his nephew's career. The uncle and his partner parked behind the jail and left their guns in the trunk. In the watch commander's office, Steven Sather asked to see his nephew. But he was told the young man had resigned, citing "family issues" as his only reason.