02.15.16, 04:46 PM #1
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Former LA Sheriff Lee Baca Pleads Guilty To Making False Statements
Sadly, I don't think this is that uncommon. I know there is a big debate happening in the public sphere about police and how we should talk about them, as well as how or whether or not we need to hold them accountable. I do think this is a bit of a boy's club where police, somewhat in general, don't want us to know what they are doing. And I imagine if you talked to someone like Baca with no one else around, sworn to secrecy, you'd get a speech very similar to Col. Nathan R. Jessup in Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men:
. . . [Y]ou curse the [police]. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know . . . my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that [patrol] -- you need me on that [patrol]. We use words like "honor," "code," "loyalty." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand the post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think you're entitled to!
Updated February 10, 20166:52 PM ET
Published February 10, 20164:29 PM ET
Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, who has been embroiled in a scandal involving reports of prisoner abuse and an alleged conspiracy to cover it up, has pleaded guilty to making false statements, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.
The single count against him relates to statements made regarding a federal investigation into corruption and violence at LA County jails. Baca has confessed to lying multiple times when he said he did not know about the actions of those within his department. He was still serving as sheriff at the time.
The plea deal calls for no more than six months in prison, U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker said at a news conference in Los Angeles.
As we've previously reported, the FBI has spent years investigating the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department over allegations of widespread abuse of inmates' civil rights.
Among other things, Baca's lieutenants and deputies were accused of unprovoked assaults on unresisting inmates.
"Volunteers, including two chaplains, filed sworn affidavits they witnessed subdued inmates being beaten," NPR's Carrie Kahn reported in 2011. "A top ranked rookie deputy reportedly quit after refusing orders to beat a mentally ill inmate."
Baca said in 2013 that the alleged assaults were the acts of a few bad apples, and "there is no institutional problem."
But he stepped down as sheriff in 2014, citing the "negative perception" his bid for re-election would bring to the sheriff's office.
The charges against Baca — and additional charges against many of his subordinates — are not directly related to the purported abuse in the jails. Instead, they stem from an alleged plot to block the investigation that could have revealed such abuse.
An inmate at a Los Angeles jail had agreed to cooperate with the FBI and pass them information. But when the sheriff's deputies learned about the operation, the informant "was essentially made to disappear within the jail system," Decker said.
The inmate was jailed under fake names, the LA Times reports, and officials from the sheriff's office actively worked to prevent him from making contact with the FBI . . .
02.15.16, 06:36 PM #2
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I had a very close friend of mine pass away from melanoma back in 2003. He was a Los Angeles Marshall. Lee Baca came to the funeral. Most of the other members of law enforcement in attendance that day had nothing good to say about LB."The past ain't what it used to be"
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