By Nancy Aviña
LOS ANGELES – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that he planned a civil rights probe on the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department late last week because of concerns of excessive force and abuse towards jail inmates throughout the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
After long-standing human rights abuses, and use of lethal force in both the Los Angeles County jails as well as in the streets, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra stated that he would continue with an investigation.
Dignity and Power Now encouraged an authentic investigation to be set up in order to hold the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department accountable for any civil rights violations.
The Los Angeles Based grassroots organization formed in 2012, Dignity and Power Now, is an organization that focuses on fighting for the rights of those who are incarcerated as well as their families and communities affected by this. One of their main goals is to use activism to fight against sheriff violence through abolition, healing justice, and transformative justice.
James Nelson the Senior Advocacy Lead with Dignity and Power Now, noted, “Knowing the impact of Sheriff violence in the jails, it’s about time that they be held accountable. We (DPN) work with and support families that have been victimized by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. It’s clear that we need to reign the Sheriff in to keep our people safe.”
Although Dignity and Power Now knows that there will be an open investigation on the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, they want to be sure that the Sherriff is held accountable for their actions.
Dignity and Power Now has already advocated for a yes on Measure R, an oversight and divestment mandate to reduce the jail population and incarceration rates.
Dignity and Power Now also pushed for Measure J, which aimed towards a reallocation of funds and budget into community outreach programs such as community programs and alternatives to incarceration, such as health services and pre-trial non-custody services.
Ivette Ale, the Senior Policy Lead with Dignity and Power Now, remarked, “This exposition of their [LA County Sherriff’s Department] long-standing abuses will only empower our work for real public safety by shifting dollars out of the failed Sheriff’s Department and into care and community-based services.”
Overall, the state and Becerra will investigate patterns of potential wrongdoings involving allegations of excessive force and misconduct in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Nancy is a third-year Communication and Political Science – Public Service Double Major at the University of California, Davis originally from Morgan Hill, California.
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