L.A. County DA Investigator Says He Was Beaten by Sheriff’s Deputies
A former investigator with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office says he was detained in a patrol car and beaten by members of L.A. County’s Sheriff’s Department last year. The shocking allegations are contained in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California Tuesday.
The complaint, which names Sheriff Jim McDonnell and a group of deputies, calls the incident “an inexcusable, despicable and intolerable episode of government-gone-wild.”
Here’s the story according to the plaintiff, D.A. investigator Maurice Lallemand:
On May 13, 2016, Lallemand was sitting in his county-issued police car in Bellflower, waiting to serve a robbery victim with a subpoena. He used a police radio to notify his department that he was on scene and exited with a police badge. At some point, sheriff’s deputies also arrived and an altercation ensued. Lallemand says he accused the deputies of incompetence and that that’s what spurred their decision to lock him in a patrol car and assault him. The investigator says he tried to submit a complaint after the incident but that he was turned away by a supervisor. He’s now seeking damages for civil rights violations, humiliation, and emotional and physical distress.
Both the District Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Department remain tight-lipped about the allegations. However, LASD did confirm that deputies arrived on scene that day to respond to reports about a civilian knocking on doors and pretending to be a police officer. Contrary to Lallemand’s account of the subsequent events, LASD says his complaint was brought to their attention and processed in a timely manner. Four days later, they arranged a conflict resolution meeting between Lallemand and the deputies. A “thorough inquiry” was conducted, LASD says, but it would not reveal the results of the investigation.
Lallemand’s lawsuit represents a rare instance of one peace officer lobbing accusations of physical abuse against another. It’s also a headache for Jim McDonnell, who was elected on the hopes of reforming a department awash in scandal and claims of excessive use-of-force.