The Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in L.A. Jails believes that the Dec. 13, 2012 charging of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy Jermaine W. Jackson with assaulting jail inmates in 2009 and 2010 by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office is an important step towards accountability and transparency with regards to disciplining abusive deputies.
While the actions of Los Angeles’ law enforcement community to discipline one of their own is important, the Coalition does not believe it reflects a systemic shift in the culture of sheriff’s deputy abuse of inmates. The Coalition is also concerned that the sheriff’s department is flagging Jackson’s arrest as a sign that allegations of abuse can be handled internally by the department.
“Ultimately, we think that independent civilian oversight with subpoena power is a crucial part of the systemic changes necessary to protect the rights of incarcerated people,” says Patrisse Cullors-Brignac, lead organizer for the Coalition. “We believe that the responsibility of holding them accountable cannot hinge on the arrest of one ‘bad apple,’ nor should that responsibility be returned to a department whose long standing negligence has allowed this culture to shape the practice of jailing in Los Angeles.”
The Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in L.A. Jails is a grassroots multiracial organization bringing together community organizations, health providers, clergy, attorneys, community residents, friends and families and survivors of the brutality inside L.A. jails to fight for real accountability. We are proposing a People’s Civilian Review Board comprised wholly of citizens that has subpoena power, where citizen complaints are reviewed and investigated, and recommendations for disciplinary or policy action are made by the board. The Coalition believes that this model of a citizen’s review board is the most independent citizen review model.
Treva Brandon Scharf: I use these parks and trails for exercise, for social time with friends, for activities with out-of-towners, for romantic outings, and for the spiritual benefits I get from communing with nature.