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Man sues LA Sheriff's Department for beating

December 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A Southland man has filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for allegedly being severely beaten by deputies without justification.

Bradly Gage, an attorney representing 34-year-old Marco Chiclana, said his client was hoping deputies would help him deal with his combative father in the Antelope Valley Hospital parking lot when deputies instead became violent with him.

The incident, which took place in April, was captured by a parking lot surveillance camera.

The video shows the first deputy approaching Chiclana, shoving him into the side of an SUV and then the clash began.

Six deputies can be seen wrestling Chiclana to the ground while some throw punches and kicks.

"This first sheriff's deputy was completely out of control and other deputies came in and started to beat this man without justification," Gage said.

Gage has photos showing Chiclana at the hospital with a badly bruised and swollen face. He said his client suffered multiple broken bones and loss of vision as a result of the fight.

"There is no justification at all. This is a Rodney King beating," Gage said.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said the department has other video from a closer and different angle that tells a different story.

Whitmore said Chiclana refused to comply with deputies' orders to take his hands out of his pockets and then elbowed the deputy in the face.

"The force here was caused by this individual's combativeness and there's no question about it. Eyewitnesses corroborate this," Whitmore said.

The sheriff's department has reviewed the case and ruled the incident justified. The Office of Independent Review is now looking at the case and is expected to make a ruling.

"What they did was absolutely appropriate even though people who see it may say, 'Oh, gosh,' because of the angle," Whitmore said. "It tells 1/8 of the story."

Chiclana faces charges of resisting arrest and assaulting an officer.

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