Deputies Allege Inmate Abuse Coverup

Deputies Michael Rathbun and James Sexton filed a lawsuit on Wednesday

Saturday, Apr 27, 2013  |  Updated 7:50 AM PDT
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Two deputies who were part of a jail gang intelligence unit have sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, claiming they were harassed, retaliated against and maliciously prosecuted after they outed department personnel involved in illegal jail gangs, KPCC reports.

Deputies Michael Rathbun and James Sexton filed the suit Wednesday against L.A. County, Sheriff Lee Baca, Undersheriff Paul Tanka and two other members of the department.

They say the department hid inmate informant Anthony Brown from the FBI to avoid a federal investigation about deputy abuse of inmates.

They also allege there are deputies involved in illegal activity with jail gang members.

“An inappropriate relationship exists between certain LASD personnel and various inmate jail gangs, especially white supremacists,” the complaint states.

According to the lawsuit, Rathbun and Sexton were assigned to Operation Safe Jails, a group of deputies who turn inmates into informants to prevent violence between rival gangs in jails.

In memos to their their supervisor, Rathbun and Sexton accused a custody assistant of working with a prison gang and a deputy of working with a white supremacist gang member. Both cases were alleged to have happened at Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles.

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