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Sheriff Baca releases report about jail violence

November 1, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Sheriff Lee Baca on Tuesday presented a long-awaited report about jail violence Tuesday to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.

This comes days after it was revealed that Baca's command staff was sending memos about serious misconduct by deputies.

It's unclear if Baca was aware of the severity of the problems involving deputy brutality against inmates, but his commanders brought up the issues in a series of confidential memos, which were sent nearly two years ago.

The memos outline numerous cases in which deputies used unnecessary force against inmates and got away with it because of shoddy investigations by supervisors.

The documents said deputies made up stories to justify the use of force. In some cases, they purposely delayed using non-lethal weapons so beatings of inmates could continue.

One of Baca's commanders who is now part of a jail reform task force said the memos never reached the sheriff's desk. But a sheriff's department spokesman said Baca did provide additional training to jail personnel.

"From these memos, training did come [in] eight-hour blocks for the sergeants and the lieutenants already assigned to custody," said spokesman Steve Whitmore. "The newly promoted sergeants and lieutenants ... got 16-hour blocks."

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is setting up a commission to investigate the problems in the jails, and it's calling for reform.