In a press conference, Baca fired back at the list of allegations levied by the ACLU in their recent report, particularly taking issue with the claim that the jails are being run by ‘gangs’ of deputies who flaunt restrictions on force. Some of the testimony, issued by both civilians and inmates alike, attest to alleged displays of excessive force involving punching, kicking, pepper spray, and tasers. At least one statement said that the inmate being beaten was handcuffed.
The report, and subsequent statements from the ALCU have claimed that Baca is the ultimate authority for what happens in the jails, and that he should resign, turning the jail system over to the Board of Supervisors.
Baca is in his fourth term as Sheriff of Los Angeles, which oversees a jail system that houses 15,000 inmates – the largest in the nation.
From the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin:
Faced with allegations of rampant abuse in Los Angeles County jails, Sheriff Lee Baca defied calls to resign Wednesday and rejected an ACLU assertion that gangs of deputies are systematically brutalizing inmates.
Baca held a news conference following the release of a scathing report by the American Civil Liberties Union that he and his top commanders are willfully indifferent to claims that deputies viciously assault inmates on a routine basis.
“That is a very false allegation,” Baca said. “There are no gangs in the Sheriff’s Department working custody.”
Read the full article here.