Ex-Deputy Who Lied to FBI to Cover up Beating of Handcuffed L.A. Jail Visitor Gets 1 Year in Prison

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A former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who lied to the FBI to cover up the beating of a handcuffed man visiting his brother in jail was sentenced to one year in prison on Monday, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Byron Dredd is expected to serve 12 months in federal prison after he was found guilty of making false statements to the FBI following a four-day trial in January. The sentence comes more than eight years after a group of deputies beat a jail visitor inside an employee break room at the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles.

Five deputies who took part in the Feb. 26, 2011 attack have already been convicted and sentenced to prison.

Dredd, 37, watched through a window from an adjacent room as the deputies beat the victim after accusing him of bringing a phone into the facility, according to federal prosecutors.

The victim remained defenseless as his arms were handcuffed behind his back the entire time, prosecutors.

Dredd and other deputies also falsified reports attempting to charge the victim with several crimes such as resisting an officer and battery, according to prosecutors. The charges against the victim were later dismissed.

Meanwhile, the FBI opened a civil rights investigation into the incident in the months following.

According to prosecutors, Dredd lied to the FBI during an interview on July 17, 2012 — falsely telling investigators the victim was the aggressor and had taken a swing at a deputy. Prosecutors said Dredd also accused the victim of punching a deputy in the chest and pushing past a deputy in an attempt to escape.

Among the deputies convicted in the attack is former Sgt. Eric Gonzalez, who is serving an eight-year sentence for violating the victim’s civil rights and falsifying reports.

Federal officials said U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer described Dredd’s crimes as “egregious” as he sentenced him.

During a previous trial in 2016, a jury had been unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the false statements charges against Dredd. However, he was acquitted during that trial of conspiring to violate the victim’s civil rights and obstructing a federal investigation.

The case has been described by federal prosecutors as the last in a series of cases that are part of a broader probe into corruption and civil rights abuses at county jail facilities in downtown L.A.

Twenty-two members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have been convicted of federal charges in the investigation.

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