Sheriff's Deputies Convicted In Covering Up Gross Case Of Inmate Abuse
The two L.A. County Sheriff's deputies who were accused of violently abusing an inmate at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility and attempting to cover it up afterwards were convicted of conspiracy and civil rights violations this afternoon.City News Service reports that deputies Bryan Brunsting and Jason Branum were convicted of three federal counts, which included making false statements, using their position as law enforcement agents to abuse an inmate, and conspiring to do so, for the 2010 incident in which the two were accused of choking an inmate, and filing false reports to cover it up.
This incident was one of the 18 cases of inmate abuse investigated by the FBI in 2013.
From a description of the FBI indictment:
Brunsting, who was a training officer, is charged in relation to an incident in which an inmate allegedly was assaulted and suffered bodily injury. Both Brunsting and Branum are charged in another assault. The victims were inmates at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, where both deputies worked. Following the two incidents, the indictment alleges that Brunsting used deputies he was training to file reports that covered up the abuse.
According to City News Service, a former deputy trainee testified that Brunsting and Branum "beat and pepper-sprayed the unresisting, mentally ill county jail inmate until he was 'screaming and crying.'" He also told the court that he saw Brunsting "spread (the inmate's) legs and kick the inmate in his private parts." When they were done, the trainee said that the two deputies "huddled in a security booth 'to get our stories straight.'"
As KTLA reported in 2013, Brunsting instructed the trainee and Branum to assault the inmate for "verbally disrespecting" a custody assistant. And according to the L.A. Times, that same trainee said Brunsting forced him to beat up a mentally ill inmate in 2011.