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.


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