Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Two LA County Sheriff’s Deputies Sentenced to Prison for Use-of-Force on Prisoner

18 current or former members of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department have now been convicted of federal charges.

Posted By CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA  – Two Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies who were found guilty after a two-week trial earlier this year of falsifying reports with the intent to obstruct justice related to their assault of a waist-chained  inmate were sentenced to prison terms today according to announcement by Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office Central District of California

          Former deputies Joey Aguiar, 28, and Mariano Ramirez, 40 were sentenced respectively to 18 months and 13 months in prison by the Honorable Beverly Reid-O’Connell.
          Aguiar was convicted of one count of falsification of records for submitting a report that falsely stated the inmate, Bret Phillips, who is now 44, was beaten after he had attempted to headbutt deputy Aguiar’s face and that Phillips violently kicked at Aguiar. Mr. Phillips did neither, according to testimony presented at the trial. Mr. Phillips was waist-chained with handcuffs binding his hands to a chain around his stomach throughout the entire beating.
          During the trial, Chaplin Paulino Juarez, who was an eyewitness to the event, testified that he repeatedly raised concerns about what he had seen with senior LASD officials, but was rebuffed. Chaplin Juarez ultimately relayed his concerns to the ACLU.  The information provided to the ACLU by the chaplain later came to the attention of the FBI.  By this time the FBI had begun a wide-ranging investigation into civil rights abuses by the LASD in custodial settings, particularly excessive uses of force by deputies on the 3000 Floor of the Men’s Central Jail. Another witness, who was an inmate when Mr. Phillips was beaten, testified that he hid in the shower to avoid being seen by LASD personnel as he watched the deputies beat a defenseless and unmoving inmate.  During the sentencing, Judge O’Connell stated that she believed the testimony of Chaplain Juarez and Mr. Maestaz.

          The case against Aguiar and Ramirez is the result of an investigation by the FBI, and is one in a series of cases resulting from an investigation into corruption and civil rights abuses at county jail facilities in downtown Los Angeles. As a result of the investigation, 18 current or former members of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department have now been convicted of federal charges.

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