Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Metro’s Bloody Mouth

The cover story for this week’s Pasadena Magazine, “One Day on the Gold Line” tells the story of a middle-aged Jewish mother who was assaulted on a Gold Line train, thrown off the train, smashed into the concrete on the platform chipping her tooth and breaking her nose. When an Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Deputy arrives on the scene, he berates the woman and places her under arrest.

The deputies stand around, chatting and ignoring me even when I beg, “Please help; let me call someone,” and “I hurt so bad; everything hurts.” I squat, dripping blood and mucous. A deputy belches loudly. Another asks, “Did you call?” and the response is, “Must be a busy day for the paramedics.” Photo and text, ##http://www.pasadenaweekly.com/cms/story/detail/one_day_on_the_gold_line/11453/##Pasadena Weekly"

By now, you’ve probably figured out that the thugs that manhandled this woman were members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. What did the woman do to “earn” such treatment from the Sheriff’s? She couldn’t find her ticket. Eight hours after her assault, she’s released from the hospital jail,without a way to get home and a dead cell phone. When a family-member finally gets her home at 1 am, she finds the ticket where it had “slipped behind her wallet” in her purse.

Eventually, the Sheriff’s fork over nearly $200,000 to avoid trial. Reading the depositions and following the news, the victim is amazed at the brutality and cluelessness of our badged protectors.

Every six months or so, the Metro Board of Directors mindlessly re-approves the contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  Usually, the motion to re-approve the contract is on the consent agenda. The victim of this recent abuse can find no record that anyone at the Sheriff’s was disciplined for their group assault.

This is hardly the first case of Sheriff’s assaulting Metro customers with no provocation. It’s note even the first one to earn mainstream media coverage this year

In January, two sheriff’s restrained and punched a mentally disabled elderly woman and then tried to intimidate a passenger who filmed the attack. When the attach became mainstream news, the Sheriff’s produced witnesses that claimed the woman was acting “eratically.” The cameraman who filmed the incident and the victim claim otherwise. There was no relationship between the cameraman and victim before or after the Sheriff’s attack.

When Streetsblog noted that all Metro buses are equipped with cameras that show the entire bus and requested it from Metro, the agency stonewalled. When we placed a Public Records Request, they denied it. When Streetsblog wrote that the reasons Metro denied the request didn’t apply, they waited two months and denied us again. They knew a small non-profit publication couldn’t afford the legal battle to sue, and so they ignored us. Assuming that tape shows the Sheriff’s were lying, and since Metro releases these tapes in similar circumstances regularly when the assailant isn’t a Sheriff, then Metro is actively engaged in covering up Sheriff abuse.

  • Fester

    I’m sorry, where are all the “Yay trains!” asperger syndrome boyz today?

  •  Yay trains!

  • Metro is good at ignoring things. I’ve filed numerous complaints about a driver that tried to run me off the road and never heard a peep.


    Trains are still good, thugs that “guard” them not so much.  I think Fester needs some Fisting to get his thoughts straight.

  • Fester

    If these degenerates on the transit system had the decency to buy a car (like 90% of the MTA staff and sheriff dept.) or have their transit ticket on them at all times then we wouldn’t have these problems. No ticket? Be prepared to be TAP’d by Metro’s enforcers.

    You know, the headline should have been a pun about the TAP program, since the whole fare-dodging “problem” on the trains is mostly what the Sheriffs concern themselves with and is the reason given for the TAP fiasco in the first place.

    I think that sheriff’s deputies don’t look intimidating enough. They should be allowed to wear full riot gear, face masks, bulky shoulder pads, and should have at least one member of their unit (they should patrol in packs of 5 or more as they do now informally) equipped with an automatic machine gun in order to prevent further far dodging prats from ruining my perfectly good bus/train ride.

    Do sheriffs also ride-along in the MTA’s white glove motorist freeway towing service? I think that would be a great way to prevent “terrorism”. 

  • Fester

    Hey, as long as we can keep the trainz rollling at max speed, amirite?! CHOO CHOO!!!

  • Kevin

    Brilliant satire, Fester, a true work of art. As if anyone could believe even one of these sentences… but such a subtle touch that keeps them guessing.

  • calwatch

    But supposedly, the faregates will enable fare inspectors to be cut back substantially. At least that is what the Booz Allen report said. 

    As far as the complaint process goes, drivers and deputies are protected by union rights. The California Peace Officer Bill of Rights is one of the strongest in the country, and forbids even disclosing that a peace officer is in the process of being disciplined – but one look at the different cases that go through Civil Service Commission can tell you that even a 1% bad apple rate in an outfit with 10,000 sworn deputies is 100 people. And there is workplace intimidation to prevent people from ratting on other deputies, as there is in most employers. No one wants to employ the nuclear option to whistleblow because they themselves may have some baggage that they don’t want to be swept in the mess.

  • calwatch

    Incidentally it is well known among old timers at LASD that the 2005-2008 crop of deputies was some of the worst in recent memory, at any agency. Remember unlike LAPD or the other municipals, LASD deputies have to do time in jail (prison duty) for the first few years, which discourages a lot of people. And, they often bring that mentality on the streets with the general public, who has not been charged with any crimes. Generally someone who is doing patrol on TSB, unless they really like it, is just another assignment on their way to management or to a more elite unit. So this would put them square in the 4-7 year experience zone.

  • Davistrain

    The LASD practice of assigning new deputies to the jail detail has been criticized before.  After spending a year or two where most of the people you deal with are scumbags, thugs or losers, it’s sometimes difficult to readjust to normal citizens.  Even though the first report I saw of this incident was forwarded from Pasadena Weekly, which is no friend of
    local law enforcement agencies, even a toned-down version of this story would be disgusting and disturbing.  Unless LASD can come up with some good reasons for their attack, this is a major “black eye” for the department.  I usually take the side of law enforcement officers when there’s any doubt, because they have to deal with the scum of the earth in keeping us law-abiding citizens safe from evildoers, but this sort of incident doesn’t make me feel any safer. 


  • Erik Griswold

    They are in handcuffs in the backseat of a patrol car having their stuff pawed through and their memory cards deleted because they were taking pictures of the “yay” train. It’s “survelling for terroists” y’know!

  • Fester

    There is always another side to the calls that these people were being unfairly brutalized and beaten: the fact that everyone arrested ever makes the same claims.

    It is tough to pay attention to the problem when nearly every person arrested has a great (they think) reason why they shouldn’t be arrested, forced to pay a fine, or anything else the law says they should.

    The Sheriffs have intervened in my travels in LA’s metro system two times to do “what they ought to be doing”: keeping some drunk maniac from making violent threats and holding open the train doors. Other than that, they simply ask for a ticket as proof of purchase and chase taggers around trying to slap them with felony convictions.

  • Anonymous

    Angelenos don’t know how good they have it. Those wanting to see real police brutality, come visit the SF Bay Area, where BART police regularly shoot unarmed passengers.

  • PC

    Why make the trip, when we just have to go down to (for example) Fullerton?

  • note = not* … attach = attack* erratically*   you’re welcome.  sleep with an editor.

  • we need a serious discussion of police brutality in america.

    and we need free public transit outside of peak times. 

    and walkability. and bikeability.

  • Gumball Saint

    There’s no such thing as Pasadena Magazine.

  • Munkey112

    Seriously does the spelling matter!? No! The crime does!!

  • Munkey

    Fricken amazing just bcuz it is not as bad here as it is over there doesn’t make it less senseless. Yes what happens over there is horrific but shall we say… its ok bcuz SF bay has it worse?!

  • PC

    Capitalize like an adult.

  • Lad Zapplan

    She deserves every penny and then some!  Rogue cops should be placed on desk duty for life and docked salary in the same manner…Life in Los Angeles is just not the same anymore.  SAD.

  • Lad Zaqpploan

    However , the case being written about in this article are clearly unjustified! She apparently just was unable to find a ticket at that particular moment ..(stressed) Chipped tooth at the dentist these days will set u back a grand easy..What about the broken nose?? Cheers

  • calwatch

    LASD has a good number of complaints and rogue deputies. Look at the LA Office of Independent Review report – http://www.laoir.com – and the Special Counsel to the Board of Supervisors report – http://www.parc.info. “Most” deputies are competent people but even a 1% bad apple rate can spoil the whole barrel, especially if the 99% don’t want to get involved in fighting the 1%, lest that 1% ever have to get their back someday. 

  • calwatch

    Even among deputies themselves, they complain that TSB management doesn’t have their back. Thus the quality deputies, who have options, are more likely to go elsewhere. 
    http://www.alads.org/version2_0/docs/pdf/dispatcher/ALADS-Dispatcher-201206.pdf (deputy union newsletter) has an article about the problems at TSB from a deputy perspective.

  • PC

    If by “desk duty” you mean sitting behind a desk in a prison cell, I’m with you.

  • Rogue cops? LMAO!! More like “rogue citizens”. This story is full of so much BS. 

  • PC

    You don’t say. Have you got some salient, but not generally known, facts you’d like to share with us, or…?

  • PC


  • Nathanael

     LACSD has an even worse reputation than LAPD.  Is it time to simply liquidate both of these departments and start fresh with new police hires and training?

  • Scumbag

    I was there…..that woman went ballistic because the Deputies told she would have to get off at the next stop. She went on to say how she pays their wages with her taxes and that she makes more money in a month than they make in a year.

  • oh well you should have said that — she definitely deserved to have undeserved physical violence used against her.

  • PC

    Was Jane Fonda sitting next to her, and did you proceed to tell both of them off in a stirring and patriotic manner, earning a round of applause from your fellow passengers?

  • Angel On A mission

    The sheriff Force should be disbanded. They are becoming a public liability for their Nazi thug attitude and tactics on the citizens, which they have no respect for. That why cities and counties are going bankrupt due to paying millions out on lawsuits for sheriff’s mishaps on the street and in their jails… Enuff is Enuff I!!! It time to do something now or you will be their next victim.

  • calwatch

    OK, how do you plan to police our streets then? Should every city have a police chief? Should we contract things out to the private sector, RoboCop style? At least the sheriff is elected and theoretically has the power to fix things. But comments like “the sheriff force should be disbanded” just sound like nonsense, like the BRU wishing for 2,000 more buses and 2,000 less police – as if South LA was as safe as even demographically similar communities like Inglewood and Carson.

  • Angelonamission

    Law enforcement agencies are supposed to  provide first response to emergencies and other threats to public safety; the protection of certain public facilities and  infrastructure; the maintenance of public order; the protection of public officials; and the operation of some correctional facilities (usually at the local level). The present form of law enforcement is deteriorating due to police force not being trained right due to budgets cuts, paying large payments from lawsuits from ineffctive cops, burned out cops and crooked cops who kill innocence people. Also you have crooked politician, crooked bureaucrats and citizens scamming social and public services, along with the economy contributing to the present deficit. Plus the Court system which is filling the prisons to over capacity. These prisoners are getting better care then the 23 million plus workers who out of jobs in this country.  With budgets being cut  from state level down to the city level,  the so called serving the public is a joke, it is now called screw the citizens. By that, raising the prices on violation tickets, charging for services that was once free, and raising prices on permits for anything they can think of.  Now, with the facts in, the police don’t have all the hi tech equipment and expertise to do their job, which when you think about it all.. it big snafu!!!! Part 1

  • Angelonamission

    Part 2
    Now, I am not an expert in Law and Order, but as an observing and concerned citizen. The present system is not working and The government has had panel upon panels of experts for years to offer changes in the system which has gone nowhere!!!!! This is my opinon, Maybe.. I think that the FBI or Home Security need to consildate all the Police forces in this country under their umbrella to maintain Operations Procedures and  standards in Law enforcement. Also have the technology and expertise to maintained an effective Police staff for the future. Yes, it means more bureauracy and where is the funding coming from. My philosophy is this, Where there’s a will, there’s a way, it can be done, so let get creative.
     The FBI track record of performance is far superior than the majority of Police forces in this country. This my opinon, so take it for what it worth. Enuff said!!!!!!

  • packin pasadena

    That’s why I carry a pistol on my person just in case they try some SHIT on me …

  • Mario

    So those of us who ride during rush hour should pay your way? I dont think so. What a lame comment by a loser poster. We all have to pay our way welfare boy.

  • angel124

    Yea but if u carry a gun and try to defend yourself against the police they will just shoot u. She could have gotten them to settle for a lot more than $200,000. I feel so bad for this young girl, it says she is middle aged but she looks younger than that to me. What happend to “protect and serve”? That’s obviously not the police departments first priority anymore. I think they need to rethink their police training program, how are we suppose to respect authority when they don’t respect anyone.

  • John Brown

    Yea, the LASD is waaay worse than the LAPD. LAPD may beat you up, but LASD runs the jails, and they’ll beat you up, and then torture you in the jails, denying medical treatment, Miranda rights, they effectively kidnap you then either torture you themselves or let other inmates do the torturing. And they even threatened and FBI agent that they could “make her disappear,” into the jail 2 years ago. The worst thing they do by far though is what goes on at the juvenile halls, like Sylmar Juvenile Hall, where they have pedo guards brutally rape the kids, especially the children of people in gangs, as a way to wage war against the citizens of LA. It’s truely stuff that would make even the WWII Germans gag and I am surprised its gone on as long as it has without a more of a “French revolution,” type response from the public. The place should be torn down brick by brick, but every day, it continues to exist, as a rape factory for kids. People have tried though, the LA riots were no small feat, and Dornor sure tried to take the fight to their door steps, though he targeted LAPD first which was misguided because they don’t run the jails, which is where the real atrocities happen beyond the brutal street beatings. People from other cities just don’t understand what LA is like. The cops in those places are there to actually help, often, they’re heros. These people have no idea what its like for the the most horrible, corrupt, sinister, rapist, murdering gang to be who is supposed “protect you.” May God strike the LASD down with the same fire he struck Sodom with, that same fire and brimstone that has always been reserved for brutal bands of murdering rapists, which is exactly what the LASD is. Riots and violence by citizens aren’t the way to go though, to truely get rid of the problem citizens must go to Sacramento and demand in force that this not be tolerated one more day, and stay until the LASD is legislated into oblivion by fed up lawmakers. It certainly can and will happen if lawmakers are forced to be fed up enough.

  • none

    I stopped riding Metrolink last year because I refuse to pay money to be victimized by armed, uniformed bullies. The metro deputies are 100% out of control.


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