Jim McDonnell

L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell on Saturday said that he had relieved from duty 10 jail workers. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

By David Zahniser
July 11, 2015

Ten Los Angeles County Jail employees were relieved of duty pending further investigation following an incident involving an inmate who was allegedly “restrained” for 32 hours, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said Saturday.

McDonnell called the allegations of inmate neglect “troubling” and said he took the actions Friday, a day after he learned of the inmate’s complaint. The incident has been reported to the FBI and various offices charged with oversight of Sheriff’s Department misconduct.

The sheriff said he received allegations last week that an inmate booked June 19 at the department’s Inmate Reception Center had been handcuffed for a “lengthy period of time” and had not been provided food, according to the sheriff’s statement. Those alleged circumstances occurred after the inmate reportedly assaulted a female deputy.

During the time the inmate was restrained, he received medical treatment and a cup of water, according to the statement.

“The investigation into this incident is ongoing and will be thorough,” said McDonnell, who came into office on a reform mandate last year in the wake of widespread reports of inmate abuse. “It will not only focus on employee actions, but also on corrective policies and procedures.”

Two lieutenants, one sergeant, one senior deputy, four deputies and two custody assistants were relieved of duty pending further investigation. In addition, “a number of others” were reassigned to other duties, the department said.

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