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​LA Sheriff’s Department misconduct includes rape, drug smuggling, kidnapping - report

Published time: January 04, 2014 03:44
Reuters / Chris Miller

Reuters / Chris Miller

Recent misconduct investigations of deputies of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department included rape, smuggling heroin into jail, stealing money from a narcotics arrest and misuse of a department helicopter, an oversight report details.

The Office of Independent Review’s new report on misconduct investigations pertaining to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) outlined administrative discipline cases resolved through Sept. 30, 2013. The Office of Independent Review (OIR) is a civilian oversight body charged with monitoring LASD’s internal investigations.

Privacy laws do not allow the identities of deputies involved in the summarized misconduct, nor does it include dates of any infractions.

Recently enacted LASD reforms have not made much of a difference on the amount of misconduct, except for excessive use of force in jails, said OIR head Mike Gennaco.

“Unfortunately, the cases are probably the same as far as level of egregiousness,” he said Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

“With regard to jail cases, I know that force is going down, at least in the downtown jails,” Gennaco added. “The fact that there are cameras make it easier to decide whether the conduct was in or out of policy.”

Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers responded with concern over the results of the report, saying the LASD does what it can to avoid such behavior while patrolling the entirety of Los Angeles County.

“When these matters are brought to our attention, we make every effort to investigate them as promptly as possible and take the most appropriate correction action,” he told the Los Angeles Daily News. “This can include retraining, written reprimands, suspensions, demotions, and even discharge.”

Among the major cases detailed by the OIR report:

- A deputy accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a traffic stop in exchange for not arresting her for a suspended license. The District Attorney filed 11 felony counts, from bribery to rape, against the deputy.

- A deputy was arrested by Border Patrol for attempting to smuggle an undocumented person over national lines.

- A LASD employee who pleaded guilty to felony spousal assault and cruelty to a child after assaulting his girlfriend and her children.

- A deputy attempted to smuggle heroin into a court lockup area and deliver it to an inmate via a burrito.

- A deputy left her gun in a backpack in the backseat of her private vehicle. She then offered two youths a ride to their bus stop. One of them mistakenly took her backpack to school instead of his own.

- An LASD employee was suspended after alleged unauthorized use of a department helicopter for non-LASD business and for falsifying time records.

- A sergeant and a station clerk pleaded no contest to grand theft for stealing money from a narcotics investigation.

- A deputy was arrested and convicted of kidnapping, falsely imprisoning and assaulting his ex-girlfriend with a firearm.

- A nursing assistant failed to provide medication to an entire module.

- A group of about half dozen deputies in a kind of gang, known as the “Jump Out Boys,” were discharged for violating “standards expected of members of the Sheriff’s Department and directly contradict our core values,” the OIR said.

- A deputy who was accused of having sexual relationships with inmates and prostitutes resigned in lieu of being discharged.

- A deputy left a male inmate and a female inmate unsecured in a courtroom lockup area. They had sex, with the female inmate becoming pregnant.

“All of us have an absolute obligation to conduct ourselves in a manner that is above reproach and demand the same of those who work within our chains of command,” Assistant Sheriff Rogers said in response to the report. “As supervisors, we must do everything in our power to ensure that our personnel do not engage in conduct that violates the public trust, damages the reputation of the department, or causes irreparable harm to their careers.”