PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — A Bellflower man whose case helped prompt the federal investigation into corruption and civil rights abuses against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says he hoped justice will finally be served.
Gabriel Carrillo, named in the federal indictment only as “G.C.”, accused deputies of beating him while handcuffed during a visit to his brother at the Men’s Central Jail in 2011.
Five deputies are accused of beating Carrillo in a break room and filing false incident reports to cover it up.
“I’m in a room with all these cops just beating up on me,” Carrillo said. “I blacked out and I thought the worst was going to happen, where I’ll just end up dying in there.”
Kaye said a sergeant who was later fired took a picture of Carrillo’s injuries and texted it to another deputy.
Carrillo was initially charged with battery against the deputies and faced 14 years behind bars. Prosecutors later dropped the charges.
“I’ve never seen such an outrageous abuse of the badge,” said Carrillo’s attorney Ron Kaye, who says his case was the genesis for the federal investigation into abuse at the jail.
“His hands were behind his back in handcuffs, he was visiting his brother, they sensed some disrespect from him and they decided to teach him some jailhouse punishment.”
As many as 18 deputies were named in four grand jury indictments and one criminal complaint involving corruption and civil rights charges Monday, FBI officials said.
“A federal grand jury and the United States Attorney’s Office has embraced Mr. Carrillo’s case, has found other cases where these five deputies were acting as thugs, and they were taking people into this break room thinking that nothing could ever happen with them,” said Ron Kaye, Carrillo’s attorney. “Well that’s not true.”
“I feel that it’s right, is the word I would like to use,” Carrillo said. “I can’t say good, because it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.”
Carrillo is pursuing civil action against the deputies involved and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.
“The tables are turned now,” Carrillo said. “Let’s see how they like it.”