LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The American Civil Liberties Union Wednesday issued a scathing 26-page report blasting Sheriff Lee Baca, who they say fosters a brutal and corrupt jail system.

The report, outlining 72 inmate beatings, also said conditions in the jails in LA County were “violent and horrific.”

The ACLU says deputies don’t just maintain law and order but instigate fights and brutality. The group says they received “thousands” of brutality complaints in just the past year.

Former Men’s Central Jail inmate Gordon Grbavac told KCAL9’s Dave Lopez that he was set upon, for no reason, by two deputies.  “They just took my head and beat me into a wall. Like you would take a battering ram to knock down a door.”

Jail Projects Coordinator Esther Lim told Lopez she also saw two deputies beat an inmate, apparently for no reason, while she was with a client in the attorney’s room.  “I saw two deputies beat an inmate. He wasn’t fighting with them. He wasn’t resisting.”

The ACLU wants Baca to resign. They blame him, personally, for what they called “pervasive abuse and cover-ups of inmates being beaten under his watch.”

Baca, who says he welcomes criticism and any and all investigations, seemed to shrug off the call for his resignation by saying, “Everyone is entitled to their opinion. It’s one of those bad days for the ACLU.”

Baca also said, “I will not tolerate excessive violence in the LA County Jail. Our goal is to out-ACLU the ACLU.”

Lopez asked Baca if he welcomed an investigation because he runs a clean operation. He replied, “That’s correct.”

He also said he personally fires 3-5 deputies a year for using excessive force in the jail.

Peter Eliasberg, Legal Director of the ACLU/SC, says “I don’t see how this department can clean itself up with (Baca) in control…even if you had a good, thorough federal investigation.”

Comments (21)
  1. Jonny says:

    I could have told you that. It is aweful. They starve you and pack you in so you cant breath. They allow assults to take place. If there is hell on Earth; it is called LA COUNTY JAIL. However, I have herd some say it is not that bad, but his brother is in prison for 3 murders so..yeah

  2. David R Carter says:

    I was in there for a DUI. I am 58 years old, skinny. They attacked me for no reason. They constantly were taunting, slapping, pushing, and beating guys with their fists, batons, and kicking people for no reason. They were just like the SS Nazi guards in the old movies.

    1. The Big Logic says:

      Aaaaahhhhhhh, did it make you cry? Are you going to be a good boy now that you learned your lesson?

      1. Chris Blair says:

        “The Big Logic”

        So clearly, you’re a supporter of mindless brutality are ya?
        Have you ever suffered any?
        Or do you inflict it?

  3. duh says:

    Want to know how bad it is in MCJ? Most of the inmates that are awaiting trials, and have been to prison before, cannot wait to take the first plea deal and be shipped back to prison ASAP. Overall, I’m going to agree with you that expedited process somewhat works to society’s advantage, but there are a lot of prisoners there that are there on charges that won’t include prison time, and/or want to get their fair trial. This is the bad part versus the ‘good’ mentioned above. If you want to fight your case, you cannot get a fair trial ‘mentally’ while housed in MCJ. The extreme conditions make it next to impossible to focus on your case and work with your attorney. No matter the original odds of winning your case as charged, if you cannot make bail, your odds plummet. I’m ok with expediting the guilty, but not ok with making it unfair to those that want to fight their cases legally.

    1. duh says:

      I forgot to mention how badly your loved ones are treated when the try to visit at MCJ. I was lucky that back in the day, I was eventually housed at CRDF (Lynwood). They treated your visitors 1000% better, and overall the visiting process was much better. Before I finally got cleared to be moved, though, MCJ was pure hell, for both me and my visitors. I won my case, completely exonerated by a jury that deliberated 45 minutes. If and when they finally tear down MCJ, I will be there to celebrate its demise.

  4. Law Abiding Citizen says:

    There is a very easy fix to this problem (if it’s a problem)……DO NOT DO ANYTHING THAT WILL RESULT IN YOU GOING TO JAIL!

    1. NumbrOne Male says:

      @Law Abiding Citizen you are a very stupid person to make such a comment “DONT DO ANYTHING THAT WILL RESULT IN YOU GOING TO JAIL” sometime bad things happen to good people but that DO NOT give these deputies to attack these inmates the way they are doing! i have read the report have you? its people like you who give the cops merits when they do thing bad things! these same cops are bring that same attitude on the streets and the violence just goes on and on!

      1. joe smith says:

        Ignorance is in abundance here, these are criminals. They have raped, robbed and even killed your loved ones. MCJ is not a five star hotel, its a jail!!!.They are hardened criminals who deserve to be locked up. I can imagine sometimes one might get out of line who deserves dicipline. Talking to these idiots does not work,
        therefore force to comply is the solution at times. I which people would stop about
        how bad jails are…its not Disneyland.

    2. Chris Blair says:

      Dear “Law Abiding Citizen”

      So what you’re saying is that you’re “pro-brutality”

      Except when, it is visited upon you, of course.

  5. NumbrOne Male says:

    sherriff baca needs to step down cause he is the blame for all of this his hiring practices and the trainning that these deputies recieve are the direct resulf of whats going on in that jail, i cant wait for this to go nation wide lol its all over LASD GANG!

  6. ??? says:

    give sheriff baca a chance to fix any problems that may exist @ the jail. Baca has been around a long time with no bad reports on him or his performance. He seems like he takes his job seriously. While no one should be beaten while in jail, the public has to expect that it is not a party in there. It’s a place w/ alot of rough people in there. I agree w/ Law Abiding Citizen above, don’t do anything that will PUT you in jail.

  7. Jack Woodsman says:

    Dude is clearly corrupt as the day is long. Welcome to America.


  8. paul says:

    3 months ago when i was in jail for just 5 days only. i seen a white deputy throw a 7 pound bed roll at a white guy, that was just sitting on the bench.the bed roll hit the inmate in the face causing his head to hit a thick plate glass window. the dude went into a seizure on the floor. and that was just in 5 days.

    1. John says:

      So you just got out of jail Paul????most of these comments posted here are the same people who have at one time been incarcerated.

      1. Chris Blair says:

        And you’re point is what exactly John?

  9. TheWindrunner says:

    Baca is a mans style sheriff! The ACLU will do anything to undermine the workings of America. At one time they served a usefull purpose, but over time have morphed into a nightmarish dinosaur. This country would be MUCH better off without them.

    1. shutup says:

      Just like unions, huh?

      1. TheWindrunner says:

        A legitmate comparison.

    2. Chris Blair says:

      And what examples do you offer to support your opinion “TheWindrunner”?

      It has been my experience in 48 years of life that most people whom say they don’t like the ACLU can not offer one legitimate or logical reason as to why they don’t like them other then to say “they’re liberals.”

  10. David says:

    No, it made me realize that we have yet one more gang in LA. Funded by the tax payers, the LA Sheriffs are nothing more than the Crips, Bloods, or any other gang out there.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From CBS Los Angeles

Weather Team
Goldstein Tipline

Watch & Listen LIVE