Jail beating verdict upheld in case against L.A. County Sheriff's Department

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- An appeals court has upheld the verdict against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department following a 2008 incident in which deputies violently extracted inmates from their cells at Men's Central Jail.

During the incident captured in video footage obtained by Eyewitness News, deputies are seen beating some inmates, dragging others and also using a Taser to forcibly remove them from their cells.

One of the inmates lapsed into a coma as a result of the violence, which the appeals court has called an "egregious and shocking abuse of power."

The inmates - 20 in all - had been refusing to leave their cells, protesting what they believed to be excessive force used against another inmate earlier that day.

RELATED: Newly unsealed videos show violent jail extractions involving LA deputies, inmates

"This was one of the most torturous, malicious beatings that we've ever encountered," attorney Ron Kaye said. "The officers treated these inmates as animals."

Eyewitness News fought to get dozens of videos unsealed by the courts, in part because the incident had already cost L.A. County taxpayers millions of dollars in damages and attorney fees.

The use of force against inmates can be reasonable and justified, but in this case jurors found that dozens of deputies engaged in "malicious and sadistic" conduct for the purpose of causing harm.
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