Last week, investigators from the LA County’s Blue Ribbon Commission on the jail violence slammed Sheriff Lee Baca and Undersheriff Paul Tanaka for managed the County’s jails and the subsequent violence that came to define the system last year.
The commission, made of lawyers working pro bono, found that Baca’s subordinates learned of not only increased violence in the jails, but of the deputies’ cliques, and failed to act. Tanaka, in the view of the commission, not only encouraged his deputies to work in the gray area of the law, but to also urged them to be aggressive.
In contrast to the evidence of wrong-doing and aggression, the commission found most deputies to be hard working and ethical, but a few were able to taint the image of all. Those few were prone to use violence as a first tool, rather than a last report.
Complicating the situation was a “code of silence” that was promoted among the ranks in the jails, which made investigating allegations of wrong doing extremely difficult.
Read the full article at the Los Angeles Times.