Please attribute the following statement to Peter Eliasberg, legal director of the ACLU of Southern California:
The ACLU of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) welcomes any possible settlement that results in an end to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s pattern and practice of unconstitutional policing, excessive force and racial profiling in the Antelope Valley.
While we hope that any settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the department includes strong oversight and monitoring, the terms of the agreement likely will not last for more than a few years.  Moreover, this settlement is coming down around the same time as the consent decree in the ACLU’s jail violence lawsuit, ongoing criminal prosecutions for excessive force and obstruction of justice by jail personnel, and a looming consent decree between Los Angeles County and the Justice Department over unconstitutional treatment of inmates with mental illness by the Sheriff’s Department and the county Department of Mental Health personnel. This tidal wave of problems that has engulfed the Sheriff’s Department should be more than sufficient to demonstrate to the Board of Supervisors and to Sheriff Jim McDonnell that they must put in place a strong civilian oversight board to ensure that the abuse and violence of past decades is not repeated.


Contact: Sandra Hernandez, 213-977-5247, shernandez@aclusocal.org          Ed Boyer, 213-977-5242, eboyer@aclusocal.org

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