‘It’s Like Torture’: Relatives of People Killed in Deputy Shootings Report Harassment by Sheriff’s Officials

Valerie Vargas, who lost her nephew Anthony Vargas in a shooting involving Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, speaks to members of the Civilian Oversight Commission on Nov. 19, 2019. (Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Valerie Vargas, who lost her nephew Anthony Vargas in a shooting involving Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, speaks to members of the Civilian Oversight Commission on Nov. 19, 2019. (Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

One by one, grieving relatives stood before the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission on Tuesday and described the harassment they said they’ve faced since their loved ones were killed by Los Angeles County deputies.

Sometimes, speakers said, deputies slowly drive by their homes during family gatherings. They showed up at one man’s funeral and, in another incident, pulled over his relative’s car, commissioners heard.

“It’s like torture for you to keep driving by us, and laughing or smirking or flicking us off and all that every single chance y’all get,” said Davielle Johnson, the girlfriend of Ryan Twyman, 24, who was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies at a South Los Angeles apartment complex in early June.

After the testimony, the commission directed the Office of the Inspector General to examine whether patrol staff are harassing families of people killed by deputies. It also requested that the Sheriff’s Department conduct its own investigation into conduct at the East L.A. and Century stations. Commissioners asked for reports back in 60 days.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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