The Department of Justice and the FBI have indicted 18 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies for what they call a pattern of rampant corruption and abuse of inmates at the nation’s largest municipal jail system, one they says was encouraged by the leaders of that department.
Eighteen current and former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies were indicted as part of an FBI investigation into alleged civil rights abuses and corruption, federal prosecutors said Monday…
The two-year FBI probe focused on allegations that sheriff’s officials had fostered a culture in which deputies were permitted to beat and humiliate inmates and cover up misconduct at the nation’s largest county jail.
“Our investigation also found that these incidents did not take place in a vacuum — in fact, they demonstrated behavior that had become institutionalized,” U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. said. “The pattern of activity alleged in the obstruction of justice case shows how some members of the Sheriff’s Department considered themselves to be above the law.”
The four indictments and a criminal complaint allege “a wide scope of illegal conduct,” Birotte said. “This investigation started by focusing on misconduct in county jails, and we uncovered examples of civil rights violations that included excessive force and unlawful arrests.”
If you find anything other than the indictments themselves remotely surprising, you haven’t been paying attention.