Civil Rights Advocates, Supervisors Spotlight Suspected Harassment by Deputies

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Allegations that sheriff MPs harass families who openly protest the killing of their loved ones by MPs will be addressed in a report due Tuesday by a coalition of civil rights groups.

The findings of the report from the National Lawyers Guild of Los Angeles, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, the Black Lives Matter of Los Angeles, the Centro Community Service Organization, and the Check the Sheriff Coalition will be presented at a press conference and scheduled outdoor rally handled the downtown Hall of Justice.

Scheduled speakers include Melina Abdullah, co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter, and several family members of people killed in MP shootouts, including Anthony Vargas, Paul Rea, Ryan Twyman and John Horton.

Regulators Hilda Solis and Holly Mitchell are also expected to file a motion requesting the county inspector general to update a sheriff’s department harassment investigation in 2020 and provide alternative methods within 60 days Handle complaints of harassment, intimidation and other misconduct.

“Unfortunately, for many families in Los Angeles County, healing that may occur after the tragic killing of their loved one is often hampered and delayed by continued harassment and retribution by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,” it said Request part.

“Families deserve the right to mourn and mourn without fear of retaliation.”

The motion calls on MPs to park in front of families’ homes, damage items left at memorials, taunt family members with rude remarks and gestures, and record their movements. Solis and Mitchell say more serious forms of harassment included stopping and arresting family members.

In a letter to Inspector General Max Huntsman in response to his office’s November 2020 report, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said his department was taking the matter very seriously and promised that violations would lead to “swift and safe” discipline.

Villanueva said the report did not provide any actual evidence of such wrongdoing. The Sheriff’s Department itself produced 400 pages of investigative material in response to an earlier request from the Civilian Oversight Commission, and the Inspector General added nothing new to that analysis, according to Villanueva.

Villanueva also said that Solis ‘office called to ask the sheriff’s department to deal with residents’ complaints about one of the memorials and that MPs had received complaints from those in the neighborhood about the Rea memorial for dealing with them were harassed by visitors to the site.

Still, Villanueva said he would consider the recommendations, which included adopting a memorial site guideline, thoroughly investigating complaints and ensuring adequate grading.

Since it is believed that many families are too anxious to report harassment, the motion suggests that the inspector general expand the scope of his final investigation, which focuses only on complaints filed.

Civil rights activists and supervisory authorities point out suspected harassment by MPs was last changed: May 3, 2021 by Contributing Editor

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