Civil Liberties

UPDATE: 18 LA Sheriff's Officers Charged with Federal Crimes as a Result of FBI Investigation


The Los Angeles Times is reporting that more than twelve current and former Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD) officials will be arrested following grand jury hearings into whether officers hid FBI informant, Anthony Brown, from federal handlers:

At least one witness testified that sheriff's officials moved the inmate and changed his name in an attempt to hide him from federal agents, and that top officials in the department played a role in the plan, according to another source familiar with the grand jury testimony.

Sheriff's officials insist they were not hiding Brown from the FBI but protecting him from other deputies.

Brown told the FBI the names of corrupt deputies and incidences of excessive force inside the LASD Men's Central Jail. He was found out in August 2011 during a cell search when jail deputies found the phone Brown used to communicate with the FBI. From the LA Times in 2012:

Brown said FBI agents rushed into the jail to visit him soon after they learned his cover had been blown. But as the meeting began, Brown said, a sheriff's investigator came in and ended it. "This…visit is over," the official said, according to Brown.

Brown said sheriff's officials moved him, changed his name several times and grilled him about what he knew and whether he would testify in the federal investigation.

"I didn't know it then, but they were hiding me from the feds," said Brown, who is serving 423 years to life in prison for armed robbery.

More details about the charges are expected after a press conference at 1pm (Pacific) with officials from the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI.

UPDATE: The U.S. Attorney's Office is saying that they are charging 18 current and former LASD officers with civil rights and corruption violations:

LOS ANGELES – Five criminal cases that charge a total of 18 current or one-time deputy sheriffs of various ranks were unsealed today as part of ongoing and wide-ranging FBI investigation into allegations of civil rights violations and corruption involving members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Four grand jury indictments and one criminal complaint allege crimes that include unjustified beatings of jail inmates and visitors at downtown Los Angeles jail facilities, unjustified detentions and a conspiracy to obstruct a federal investigation into misconduct at the Men's Central Jail.

Federal authorities announced the charges after 16 of the defendants were taken into custody earlier today. Those defendants are expected to be arraigned on the charges this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles.

The LA Times has also posted a copy of the indictment against seven officers a part of hiding informant Brown from FBI handlers. 

For more on the LASD and misconduct within the department, read and watch LA County Sheriff's Hassle Photographer, Trample Constitution, Get Lauded by Bosses: