“There is a long history in the United States of using mental health diagnoses as a means of subjecting black people to institutional violence and brutality including incarceration and confinement. Los Angeles hosts the worlds largest jail system and it is not exempt from that history. In fact, the county jails’ disproportionately Black mental health population and the culture of physical abuse and medical neglect against prisoners by the Sheriff’s Department are all extensions of that historical racsim.”
“The LA County Sheriff’s Department has lost a great deal of trust from the larger community over the years as a result of scandals and disheartening reports of brutality and abuse in the county prison system. It is time for the LA County Sheriff’s Department to open its doors to the same sort of scrutiny that has improved standards in other law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles Police Department. We call on the County Board of Supervisors to remember that ALL are created in the Divine Image, even those doing time in prison,” said Rabbi Jonathan Klein.
On June 30th, 2014 the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and the Office of Inspector General released a joint report stating several recommendations for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to consider regarding Civilian Oversight of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ must implement permanent Civilian Oversight of the Sheriff’s Department. A review board that can provide guidance for the current I.G., investigate major uses of force, officer involved shootings that lead to death, and any death that happens to a civilian while he or she is in the “care” of the Sheriff’s department.
Patrisse Cullors-Brignac is the executive director and founder of Dignity and Power Now and Coalition to End Sheriff Violence. Diana Zuñiga is the statewide organizer for Californians United for a Responsible Budget.
The Coalition is urging Los Angeles County to implement 1.) full mental health diversion 2.) hold off on the 1.8 billion dollar jail plan passed at the May 6th, 2014 Board meeting, and 3.) develop wrap around services, that could help release folks who are currently inside of the county jails and would be better off in a treatment facility.
This series will also be highlighting the Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in L.A. jails: #CivilianReviewBoardNow and #STOPTHE2BILLIONDOLLARJAIL campaigns. We will be launching a social media campaign to demand for both 1. Civilian Oversight of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and 2. full and comprehensive mental health diversion for all of Los Angeles County
On Monday, community activists and organizers unveiled a proposal for oversight of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, and its centerpiece is a citizen review board or commission with enough independence and single-minded focus to hold the sheriff to account for his performance.
The Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in LA Jails is launching a report researched and drafted by students from the UCLA School of Law International Human Rights Clinic that outlines a comprehensive model of civilian oversight of the Sheriff’s Department. Members of the coalition and supporters will brief the media on key components of the report. In late June, the County Supervisors are expecting the new Inspector General and the Interim Sheriff to present their report and findings on the notion of a permanent civilian oversight body for the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.
One of those who has doubts about what can be accomplished is Patrisse Cullors. Cullors took up the issue of Sheriff's Department reform after her brother was beaten bloody by deputies in 1999. She now heads the Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in Los Angeles, which has been collecting testimony about troubles in today's department. Her group is scheduled to release its findings Monday, and to call for the creation of a citizens oversight panel, which she regards as necessary to finally break the department's intransigence. Even that, she concedes, might not go far enough.
Richie was 14 when I met him. He was bright eyed, clear, interested, honest, and sharp as phuk. Richie's mind was non-stop, he was always questioning everything, he wanted to be the first to undo white supremacy, to undo homophobia, and patriarchy. He was on a mission and it was beautiful to witness.
Seeds of Resistance and Resilience: Lessons from the Dandelion evolving and cross pollinating social justice movements and hip-hop
Streetgangs.com covers the Coalition's latest press conference calling out Sheriff Brutality.
“I want to say to supervisor yaroslavsky that as a nephew of two uncles who were both formerly incarcerated and subjected to an isolated existence where violence and authoritarian control were the norm, that this call for immediate action of accountability and transparency is a personal matter of mine. My family has suffered greatly from the effects of the jailing and imprisonment, and there are still thousands of families and whole communities even who continue to suffer from vicious acts of institutionalized terrorism and violence forced onto their loved whom have become invisible to many.”
"In light of the numerous investigations and seemingly daily reports of misconduct by LASD employees, public confidence demands public oversight. "