Charged with alleged battery and filing fraudulent reports, five of the eighteen sheriff’s deputies of the Los Angeles police department from Federal indictments are now being sued. Testimonies were taken from prisoners and those affected that state of the crimes. Legal experts say this could mean big payouts from the county to the plaintiffs involved in the case. Some experts feel this will be more or less of a layup for lawyers that will be involved in the civil case. If the Federal court finds these defendants guilty, the civil court will only have to determine how much is owed.
From one of the lawsuits, plaintiff Leocadio Figueroa, states that in 2010 he had gone to visit his brother, an inmate at the Men’s Jail Downtown. While waiting, he had asked to speak to a watch commander. Officers then took him aside, beat him and detained him. The officers claimed they were responding to Figueroa trying to instigate a fight. The plaintiff went to a local hospital and was treated for a broken arm. No charges were filed by the deputies.
It is noted by this plaintiff’s lawyer that after these indictments and now these suits, LA county will likely not be able to review and handle these complaints as they once did. He explains that in the past, cases of this nature would be categorized as someone “just complaining about a good deputy”. Now, things will need to be a bit more closely examined before dismissing such statements as amplified or misled.
In turn, those deputies named in the lawsuits are now suing the department. They allege that superiors pinned the blame on them, to favor a deputy that they were more closely tied with. The county has already paid out close to half a million dollars to those wronged by the accused deputies due to the outcome of these lawsuits. The Sheriff’s department has denied any responsibility in the claims. Civil proceedings won’t continue until the federal cases have wrapped, however, it certainly is sounding like there is a lot of “passing the buck” going on here and landing the county in likely more payouts to come.