West Valley Detention Center class action settlement
If you were housed in the Alternative Lifestyle Tank of the West Valley Detention Center (a San Bernardino County jail) between October 22, 2012 and March 31, 2018, you may be entitled to receive money.
This report compiles some 64 sworn statements from inmates, former inmates and civilian eyewitnesses taken since 2009, describing attacks in which deputies targeted inmates’ heads.
Correctional officers should strike inmates’ heads only as a matter of last resort. But in the Los Angeles County Jails, that is not the reality.
As explained in this report, there is clear evidence that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (“LASD”) deputies have used head strikes with alarming regularity in the Los Angeles County jails. In many of those incidents the head strikes have caused significant injuries. The manner and frequency of such head strikes strongly suggests an inappropriate use of force by deputies.
Sixty-four people have made sworn statements describing incidents in which deputies targeted inmates’ heads for attack between 2009 and 2012. These are not mere unsubstantiated complaints. The ACLU has corroborated 12 of these allegations of head injuries with secondary evidence, such as medical records, photographic documentation, or civilian reports. In several other instances, inmate witnesses have corroborated reports of deputy-on-inmate head strikes.