Commuters have been improperly detained, pushed, choked and struck by Metropolitan Transportation Authority security guards, according to interviews and internal law enforcement memos obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Alleged assaults over the last two years have prompted at least 11 investigations by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, which has repeatedly complained to MTA officials about abusive security officers, The Times reported.
Although the 97 MTA security guards carry guns, batons and pepper spray, they are not legally authorized to act as law enforcement officers.
Their main responsibilities are protecting MTA property, guarding revenues and closing subway stations when daily service ends.
A new contract between MTA and the Sheriff's Department is under negotiation, and it is expected to return security officers to Sheriff's Department supervision, MTA spokesman Marc Littman told The Times.