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Baca investigates alleged inmate brutality against inmates

Sheriff Lee Baca talks to inmates at a town hall-style meeting on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, at the Men's Central Jail chapel. (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

October 10, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is launching his own investigation into incidents of alleged brutality against inmates at county jails.

Baca said he has formed two new task forces. One will meet with inmates and staff looking to improve conditions, while the other is a team of 35 investigators who will look into each of the 78 allegations made by the American Civil Liberties Union.

"I believe in the principle of dignity for all, including those who are incarcerated," Baca said in the statement. "The deputies and staff of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department are entrusted and obligated to serve the constitutionally-bound civil rights of all, and to protect and enhance everyone's human potential."

The allegations prompted the FBI to initiate an investigation.

Over the weekend inmates got a chance to talk to the sheriff. The meeting followed the death of 18-year-old inmate, George Rosales, who died just days after being punched by a deputy. Rosales was trying to make a break for the elevator, according to prison officials.

The ACLU has called for the resignation of the four-term sheriff who oversees the nation's busiest jail system and its 15,000 inmates.

"I think there are issues," said Baca. "I have some concerns about the training. I have some concerns about the supervision. I have some concerns about the policy. You know, that's my fault."

Baca has said he will not resign.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.