A federal jury has found Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca personally liable in a case involving abuse of an inmate in the Men’s Central Jail, meaning the sheriff could be required to pay $100,000 out of pocket.
It is the first time a jury has held Baca personally at fault in a deputy use-of-force case. Sheriff’s officials called the verdict a “huge mistake” and said they would appeal.
Plaintiff Tyler Willis filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in October 2010 against L.A. County and several deputies and sheriff’s officials, alleging that deputies severely beat him in 2009 while he was a 23-year-old inmate awaiting trial on charges of lewd acts with a child. He was later convicted.
Willis alleged that he was punched and kicked repeatedly, shot with a Taser multiple times and struck “numerous times” in the ankle with a heavy metal flashlight, causing fractures and head injuries.
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