August 14, 2009

Who Watches the Watchers?

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Orange County’s jail deputies will learn what it is like to have their every move monitored and weighed for criminality.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating allegations of deputy abuse and excessive force that span more than a decade, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times’ Tami Abdollah.

If the Justice Department’s civil rights division determines that deputies violated inmates’ rights, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department could be put under federal oversight, following in the footsteps of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The sheriff’s department has been lambasted for obstructing a district attorney’s investigation with “a code of silence.”

A county jury found that deputy actions which led to the death of inmates — whether by Tasering a handcuffed inmate or falsely accusing a man of child molestation — provided ample evidence of widespread abuse at the Theo Lacy Jail.

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