Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies beat jail inmates and visitors without justification, unjustly detained people and conspired to obstruct a federal investigation into misconduct at the jail, according to indictments unsealed Monday.
18 current or former deputies were arrested Monday by the FBI in a mass show of force, The Los Angeles Times reports. The most damning indictment (attached below) states that a sergeant encouraged deputies to use excessive force and make unlawful arrests of visitors.
Visitors to the jails, uncharged and unsuspected of any crime, were reportedly abused and harassed over the past few years, according to the indictments.
Even an Austrian consulate official was improperly arrested and searched, according to the indictment.
That incident occurred in 2011 when the official and her husband were visiting an inmate who was an Austrian national accused of a crime.