Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said the charges against 18 current and former sworn officers on allegations of jail misconduct mark a “sad day” for the department, but he denied suggestions that it represents a larger, institutional problem.
At a news conference Monday afternoon flanked by more than a dozen of his top aides, Baca said he and the department have fully cooperated with the FBI‘s investigation and “didn’t hold anything back.”
“Please know that I respect the criminal justice system and no one is above the law,” Baca said. He later added: “I accept responsibility…. You don’t see me retire from the job (or blame others).”
For the last 163 years, 99.9% of Sheriff’s Department employees “have done outstanding work,” Baca said, adding that he is confident that 99.9% remain on the “right track.”
On Monday, federal officials unsealed four grand jury indictments and one criminal complaint alleging that 18 Sheriff’s Department employees engaged in abuse and misconduct inside Los Angeles County jails.
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