The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department continues fueling controversy, confirming its image as uncontrolled. This time the Palmdale and Lancaster stations were accused of discriminating against racial minorities.
The Justice Department’s investigation indicated that officers in these two cities illegally targeted African-Americans, and to a lesser extent, Latinos.
Residents of public housing were subject to unwarranted detentions and an unnecessary use of force. Compliance checks for Section 8 residents have transformed from a bureaucratic process into a police operation aimed at intimidation.
The report also indicated the mistreatment of witnesses and victim of crimes, especially when they are African-American.
The discrimination problem arose years ago with the growth of the black and Latino communities in Antelope Valley. This region posted the highest percentage of hate crimes in Los Angeles county in 2010, according to federal authorities.
It is a shame that the Sheriff’s deputies are part of the problem of mistreatment of minorities rather than being a solution. The deputies are apparently playing the game of local authorities upset over the influx of minority housing beneficiaries in a region hard-hit by the economic crisis.
The federal report is further confirmation of abusive, inappropriate actions by the Sheriff’s office. It is positive to note that, in this case, deputy training is being improved, but the structure needs to be shaken up like the Los Angeles Police Department was, so that they really start behaving properly.