The Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in L.A. Jails Response to OIG/LASD report and recommendations on civilian oversight for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department

Coalition to End Sheriff Violence | July 1, 2014

End-Sheriff-Violence-In-LA-JailsWhitebckgrnd-HiRezC2ESV Continues to Urge the County Board of Supervisors’ to Implement Permanent Civilian Oversight of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department

Los Angeles- Over the weekend two individuals who were in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department custody, died. Time and time again advocates, activists, mental health providers, doctors, concerned community members, lawyers, and people who have been directly impacted by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department have pleaded for something more than handcuffs, cop cars, court rooms, and jails when treating folks with mental illness, drug addiction or folks who are chronically homeless. Advocates have developed thoughtful analysis on why it is so detrimental to continue to use draconian and punitive policies when interacting with this population.

“Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ can fix this problem. They can save peoples lives if they just pushed for alternatives to incarceration,” says, Steve Rogers member of the Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in L.A. Jails and formerly incarcerated at L.A. County Twin Towers.

The Vera Institute made it clear that to save money and lives, the county must prioritize keeping “people who come into contact with law enforcement because of mental illness, intoxication, or homelessness from becoming unnecessarily enmeshed in the criminal justice system.”

“We are currently in a bind. The Office of Inspector General can’t legally independently investigate any allegations against the Sheriff’s Department. This reality unfortunately leaves communities already marginalized, vulnerable and left to rely on a department that can’t and hasn’t effectively kept communities safe from its culture of violence,” says Patrisse Cullors founder and executive director of Dignity and Power Now/Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in L.a. Jails

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ must implement permanent Civilian Oversight of the Sheriff’s Department. A review board that can provide guidance for the current I.G., investigate major uses of force, officer involved shootings that lead to death, and any death that happens to a civilian while he or she is in the “care” of the Sheriff’s department.

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