Los Angeles, CA -- Law enforcement creates an inherent societal tension. While we want our peace officers to have the authority and equipment to neutralize potential threats and protect us, we also want to ensure the license we grant them in that regard is not abused. That's why there are laws regulating police conduct and harsh penalties for officers who betray the public trust by misusing their authority for personal gain or making use of excessive force in carrying out their duties.
This week two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting a handcuffed inmate. For three years the LA County Sheriff's Department has been the subject of an FBI investigation into allegations of brutality and other forms of misconduct. Joey Aguiar and Mariano Ramirez are only two of the 21 current and former sheriff's officers charged in the case.
The charges against Aguiar and Ramirez stem from an incident in 2009 when, according to authorities, they used excessive force when trying to control an inmate at Men's Central Jail. They are accused of repeated kicking the inmate in the head and upper body, striking him with a flashlight, and pepper-spraying him, all while he was handcuffed to a waist chain.
The first person to bring this story to public attention was a prison chaplain who claimed to witness the incident, Deacon Paulito Juarez, who wrote in a department report on the incident, "I felt that I had witnessed a crime." The reason this case has taken so long to come to court is because throughout the Sheriff's Department has maintained that the use of force in the incident was within department guidelines. Even so, the department did relieve Aguiar of duty in October 2012 for other reasons and has stated that Ramirez would be relieved of duty as well.
As stated above, police misconduct is a serious issue because it involves a betrayal of the public trust. We hold law enforcement to a high standard of behavior when it comes to carrying out their duties. However, it is important to remember that even if they are held to a high standard, police and other law enforcement officers accused of misconduct are still considered innocent until they are proven guilty in a court of law. That's why the Law Offices of Michael L. Guisti take on police misconduct cases resulting in physical injury a the hands of the police.
For over fifteen years the criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael L. Guisti have been defending clients in state and federal courtrooms in Southern California. Our attorneys give the kind of personal, one-on-one attention that a case needs to succeed, and of course anything you tell them is completely confidential. They have the legal expertise and experience to help you through this difficult time, and can guide you throughout the process of fighting criminal charges in court.
So if you're facing charges of police misconduct / police brutality or other felonies or misdemeanors, don't try and take it on by yourself. Hire someone who cares and will be an advocate for you in court. Call the Law Offices of Michael L. Guisti in Orange County. Call us at (888) 478-8999 for a free consultation with one of our qualified legal professionals.
Faturechi, Robert. "Deputies in federal jail abuse case plead not guilty." http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-deputies-ln-federal-jail-abuse-case-plead-not-guilty-20140306,0,1737639.story#axzz2vI7FTyta. Los Angeles Times. March 6, 2014.