D.A. alleges coverup in sheriff’s deputy’s alleged beating of inmate
L.A. prosecutors accused two L.A. County jail workers of trying to cover up a deputy’s alleged beating of an inmate at the the Twin Towers jail.
A former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy and a custody assistant were arrested and charged this week with felony filing false police reports in connection with the alleged assault on an inmate by another deputy on Christmas Day 2010 at the downtown L.A. facility.
Karin Cring, a former deputy now living in Switzerland, was taken into custody Wednesday after authorities received information that she was at a residence in Covina.
Sheriff’s investigators also arrested custody assistant Jayson Ellis, who has been on paid leave since last July in connection with the investigation. Both were ordered held in lieu of $20,000 bail; Cring was released on bail Wednesday evening, jail records show.
They have been charged with falsely reporting an incident in which authorities alleged that another deputy, Jermaine Jackson, assaulted an inmate using “a deadly weapon” -- his feet.
Jackson was charged last year with causing great bodily injury, assault by a public officer, and filing a false report in connection with that incident and another incident at the Compton courthouse lockup in 2009. He is awaiting trial.
Ellis, who has worked for the department since 2006, has been on paid leave, but following his arrest Wednesday, his status was shifted to unpaid leave, Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
The arrests and charges by local authorities are latest as FBI and federal prosecutors continue to investigate deputy misconduct within the L.A. County jail system, the largest in the nation.
“This investigation and the arrests were made by the Sheriff’s Department,” Whitmore said.
The alleged assault by Jackson in Twin Towers was described in a declaration filed previously by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. In a sworn statement, inmate Derek Griscavage said he was housed in the Twin Towers jail in downtown L.A. on Christmas Day 2010 when Jackson shouted profanities at him because he did not drop to his knees fast enough during a routine search.
Griscavage said he flashed his middle finger at the jailer, whom he described as a bulky, 6-foot deputy with a shaved head. About 20 minutes later, the deputy ordered him to face a jail window and then kicked the insides of Griscavage’s ankles hard with his boots, according to the declaration.
Jackson, Griscavage said, handcuffed him and “savagely pushed my cuffed hands up so my arms resembled chicken wings, straining my shoulders and handling me with enough force that my face was pushed into the pod window.”
Jackson then forced Griscavage to walk to an area of the jail where four or five deputies were waiting, and “everything went black,” the declaration said.
Griscavage said he woke up in the hospital “with a stabbing pain in my head ... undoubtedly the worst headache I have ever felt.” He said there was blood on his bare chest, and his eyes were “swimming with blood flowing out of the cuts on my face and head.”
He said he suffered a broken nose, black eyes, a cut to his ear, a swollen head and a chipped tooth. Inmates later told him that Jackson had punched him while he was handcuffed and then had kneed and kicked his head and face, according to the declaration.
Other inmates, he said, were ordered to mop up a pool of blood after the assault. Griscavage said a sheriff’s detective visited him about the incident but that her focus was not whether the deputy assaulted him but whether he attacked the deputy and caused a scratch to Jackson’s hand.
He said the detective told him he needed to give a blood sample to ensure that the deputy had not been exposed to any infectious diseases, but she did not ask any other questions about the incident. Griscavage alleged that another deputy snickered at him, saying, “I heard you got knocked out.”
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