Los Angeles County Sheriff Department Makes Long-Standing Civil Rights Settlement

Los Angeles County sheriff department on Tuesday made a settlement with the US Justice Department over allegations of long-standing civil rights abuses by deputies in the Mojave Desert.

The settlement deal approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors came nearly two years after the federal prosecutors identified an alleged pattern of discrimination.

The discrimination pattern identified by prosecutors included unconstitutional stops searches, searches, seizures and excessive force against blacks and Hispanics in Palmdale and Lancaster.

The Justice Department in its June 2013 report stated that the deputies harassed and frightened blacks and others in public housing, by showing up for inspection with minimum nine officers.

Sometimes the officer who came for inspection carried along with them guns to intimidated blacks. Toni Clark, a plaintiff, who explained that she was harassed multiple times by deputies within the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, said she cannot sleep and constantly keeps looking out of window. She said that she now takes medication because of the harassment done to her by the deputies.

In the agreement that received 4-1 approval by the board, the Sheriff's Department did not admit any of the wrongdoing, but they have agreed to be monitored by three outside experts.

The department as per the deal will also have to meet 150 requirements over the next four years.

It also agreed to pay $700,000 to residents who were harmed by alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act.

Clark who was told she would receive an amount of $20,000 after settlement said the situation with law enforcement has improved within the past two years.

The L. A. County Sheriff's Department said in a statement that this agreement will enable the LASD to bring the highest standards of constitutional policing and strong training models for their staff.