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Wed Aug 25, 2021, 08:14 PM

Disturbing review of Orange County, California sheriff's department finds serious abuses

Source: The Guardian

Disturbing review of California sheriff’s department finds serious abuses

Investigators found significant problems with every part of the Orange county department’s use of force policies and practices

Lois Beckett
Wed 25 Aug 2021 18.07 BST

Over the past year, as employees of the scandal-plagued Orange county sheriff’s department received their official use-of-force training, independent investigators from the county were sitting in.

Their goal was to identify problems that might lead to unnecessary killings or headline-grabbing cases of law enforcement violence. And, as a new report documents, they found plenty.

During a training about the duty to intervene when an officer uses excessive force, one instructor began the session by asking the trainees if they had joined the force in order to “rat on” their peers for misconduct. None of the trainees raised their hands.

Another instructor illustrated a discussion of mental health regulations in California with a photograph of three convicted killers and the caption, “Why do all mass shooters look like mass shooters?” That claim was wrong, and might also “encourage individuals to discriminate against and mistreat others who are perceived to be mentally ill”, the investigators warned.

The newly released investigation was conducted by the Office of Independent Review, a previously dormant Orange county public agency, and commissioned after the George Floyd protests last year. The report comes as the sheriff’s department, one of the largest in the country, has been embroiled in controversy for years over criminal behavior by deputies and even a former sheriff, who was indicted on corruption charges in 2007 and ultimately convicted on one count of witness tampering.


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/aug/25/california-orange-county-sheriff-department-abuse-review

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