Three L.A. County Deputies Convicted in Beating of Jail Visitor
Three Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were convicted Wednesday of beating a handcuffed man bloody and then lying to cover up the abuse.
A federal jury deliberated for only four hours before returning guilty verdicts against Deputies Sussie Ayala and Fernando Luviano and former Sgt. Eric Gonzalez, who supervised the incident and boasted about the assault in a text message to a colleague.
The trial, in which two other deputies testified about the coverup and a “code of silence” in law enforcement, was the first public airing of brutality charges to stem from a wide-ranging FBI probe into the county’s jails. Nine other deputies were previously convicted of other crimes, including obstructing the FBI’s investigation.
Rank-and-file officers face more charges of physical abuse in two upcoming trials, while last month former Assistant Sheriff Paul Tanaka, once the second-highest-ranking official in the department, and a captain were indicted on obstruction charges.
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