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LA County To Pay $650K For Lawsuit Alleging Excessive Force By ‘Rogue Cops’

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors agreed to pay $650,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging sheriff’s deputies used excessive force against two men arrested during a traffic stop.

Two sheriff’s deputies spotted Erick Hoxey driving in Compton without his seat belt on the afternoon of April 12, 2008.

The deputies said that after stopping him, Hoxey assaulted one of the deputies and several others were needed to subdue him and take him into custody.

KNX 1070’s Bob Brill reports attorneys for the plaintiffs argued that Hoxey was a victim of racial profiling and that the incident was part of a pattern of violence and racial animosity among deputies at the sheriff’s Compton station.

“Good people are having their lives destroyed by rogue cops and nothing is being done about it,” said attorney Glen Jonas.

In Jonas’ description of the incident, Hoxey had been parked for five minutes when the patrol deputies pulled up next to his car.

“They pulled him out of the car and began brutally beating him with their fists and batons,” Jonas said.

When his girlfriend, a pre-med student at UC San Diego at the time, “begged the deputies to stop beating Mr. Hoxey, they punched her in the face and continued to slam Mr. Hoxey’s head into the cement,” said Jonas.

Hoxey and his passenger allege the deputies falsely arrested them and used excessive force.

The Sheriff’s Department concluded the force was reasonable and within department policy, although they directed the deputies involved to attend a four-hour tactics and survival course.

Despite the committee’s finding, county counsel recommended settlement to avoid the risks of uncertain litigation.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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