It’s official: Civilian Oversight for LA County Sheriff

In the wake of a series of protests against law enforcement around the country, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted for a new civilian oversight panel of its sheriff’s department.

Advocates have been pushing for such a panel for years, but have been unable to muster the three votes necessary for board approval. The department has been plagued in recent years by charges of widespread abuses in the jails.

Earlier this year, a similar proposal was voted down on a 3-2 vote, with Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky casting the deciding vote against the proposal.

But Yaroslavsky left office last week, and his replacement, Sheila Keuhl, voted in favor of the new panel.

Advocates praised the decision to create a civilian oversight body.

"This is a historic moment," Kim McGill, organizer of the Youth Justice Coalition, told the LA Times. "We are the people that have been in your jails and the people that buried our family members when they’ve been killed by the sheriffs."