28 LA Sheriff’s officials face allegations of jail inmate abuse
Deputies extracted prisoners "with such extreme and excessive force that eight inmates had to be hospitalized"
By Frank Stoltze
LOS ANGELES — Dramatic video of L.A. County sheriff’s deputies firing concussion grenades and pulling bloodied and limp inmates out of their cells at Men’s Central Jail highlight a civil trial now underway in a downtown federal courtroom. On the video, some inmates can be heard screaming in pain.
Deputies extracted prisoners “with such extreme and excessive force that eight inmates had to be hospitalized,” reads a complaint naming a sheriff’s captain, a lieutenant, three sergeants and 23 deputies allegedly involved in the August, 2008 incident. The civil lawsuit by five inmates, which also names Los Angeles County, plays out amid a federal investigation into a possible pattern of inmate abuse at the lockup.
The inmates suffered injuries including a broken ankle, a broken vertebrae, an orbital fracture to the eye area, head trauma and seizures – all as a result of deputies allegedly hitting, kicking and kneeing them, according to the lawsuit and testimony. Deputies struck the inmates more than 100 times, the lawsuit alleges.