Groups Call on AG to Investigate Excessive Force by Riverside Sheriff’s Department


By the Vanguard Staff

Riverside, CA – Groups believe, “It’s time for the attorney general of California to investigate the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department (RSD) for its racist policing practices, rampant patrol and jail deaths, and its refusal to comply with a court orders.”

A letter sent this week to the Office of the Attorney General — signed by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, Starting Over Inc., and Riverside All of Us or None — cites numerous, documented examples of deadly actions by the department.

“We have lost loved ones to unbelievable violence at the hands of sheriff’s deputies” says the letter, co-signed by more than 20 activist and community organizations, “and have seen our community members suffer from undeniably inhumane jail conditions.”

The statistics on RSD’s use of excessive force in policing are harrowing:

  • In 2019, the RSD had nearly as many fatal shooting by deputies as the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Yet, L.A. County has more than four times the number of residents as Riverside.
  • In the years 2013 to 2021, RSD deputies had more killings in the course of making arrests than 92% of California sheriff’s departments.
  • From 2019 to 2020, RSD deputies reportedly shot at people 41 times. In 31 of those cases, the victims were not perceived to be armed with a firearm, bringing into question whether RSD used deadly force only when necessary or in defense of life, as required by law.
  • A Black person is 1.6 times more likely to be killed by law enforcement officers in Riverside County than someone who is white.

“Our request of the attorney general is on behalf of families and individuals who have lost loved ones to Riverside sheriff deputy violence,” said Luis Nolasco, senior policy advocate & organizer with the ACLU SoCal. “It is our hope that an investigation will lead to accountability for an agency that has gone unchecked for far too long.”

The RSD has disregarded directives by agencies and a grand jury aimed at reforming the department. In fact, since 2014 the County of Riverside Civilian Grand Jury has investigated and published eight reports on the conduct, operations, and mismanagement of the RSD. But the sheriffs have, with little exception, refused to implement the recommended changes.

And in 2015, Riverside County entered into a consent decree as a result of a federal court finding that the county failed to provide minimally adequate medical and mental health care to incarcerated people, in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and the Americans with Disabilities and Rehabilitation Acts. But as the letter sent to the attorney general’s office shows, that consent decree has been violated on multiple occasions.

The jails policies of the RSD have been especially inhumane and deadly during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Sheriff Chad Bianco going so far as to mock requests to alleviate dangerous conditions in the crowded facilities operated by the department.

“The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has harmed incarcerated people for decades through its fatally negligent jail conditions,” said Avalon Edwards, policy associate with Starting Over. “It is long past due for the state to scrutinize the systemic ways in which this department has endangered our loved ones, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Even though Riverside County’s jails had one of the largest outbreaks of COVID-19 of jails in the state, the RSD had no comprehensive plan to deal with the pandemic until it was forced to do so by a federal court. The court, as the result of a lawsuit filed by the non-profit Prison Law Office, directed the RSD to safely house and care for all incarcerated individuals at high risk for complications from COVID-19, and provide people in the jails with hygiene and cleaning supplies.

But still, as highlighted in the letter to the attorney general, people who are incarcerated in Riverside County are denied life-saving medications, soap, cleaning supplies, masks, clean clothes, phone access, regular showers, and COVID-19 tests.

The report concludes by saying, “We write to the Attorney General’s office after exhausting all other routes to obtain basic standards of accountability and humane treatment of Riverside County residents.” It requests that the office “open an investigation into the Riverside Sheriff’s Department, with respect to its rampant deputy violence, persistently inhumane jail conditions, and refusal to protect people in county custody from COVID-19.”

Read the letter here:


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One thought on “Groups Call on AG to Investigate Excessive Force by Riverside Sheriff’s Department”

  1. Robbi Faycurry

    Thank you for this article on Riverside County Sheriffs medical negligence, civil rights violations, inmate brutalities and use of excessive force by deputies in the Riverside county Jail Detention Centers. My son is experiencing very similar treatment from the deputies and medical staff. It was concerning but not urgent or critical enough to initiate a complaint until recently. My son had caught his foot on the many tears and holes in his mattress he was given at Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta, CA . He tried to get up to get his last meal of the day on Jan. 7, 2023 at 1 pm. He was very hungry and knew there is no other food given out until 3 am at this jail. He slipped and my son being over 200 pounds of solid muscle fell hard and has been paralyzed from his waist down ever since. The 11 deputies and 3 nurses that witnessed the and responded to the incident took pictures and documented every thing while my son laid there in pain for almost two hours on the floor. He was taken to a small urgent care near by and given a standard x-ray to see if he had any broken bones  and that was it. The deputies brought him back and 22 hours later was given Tylenol. He was in so much pain he couldn’t get up to go to the bathroom or to get his food at his cell door and even to be given a Tylenol  for pain relief. He laid in his cell for days in soiled pants no medication or food because deputies refused to help him and wouldn’t allow nurses to go into give him medication. He couldn’t even get up to call me for help. He has been in solitary confinement since his arrest 20 months prior. He started yelling for other inmates to please call me and 2 of them did. I called and complained to everyone I could and he was allowed to see Dr Cudal  who is the physician at the southwest facility. She gave him a walker in which he is made to try and walk while dragging his legs behind him. He is still paralyzed, in pain and made to crawl to get his food and meds if he wants them since he can not use the walker to get his food tray. Who do I call for help with this matter? The Sargent I spoke to twice was rude and has since started calling my son scooter to mock him and make fun of his disability made to crawl across the floor for minimal medical care and food. My son was once a Riverside County Sheriff and worked for the same people. He had left the sheriffs department after hurting his back on the job just before the pandemic. He receives full disability from the VA administration for being a veteran that served with the United States Air Force Special Forces Division in Afghanistan before applying to the Riverside County Sheriffs academy. The deputies treat him worse  because he was an employee that worked in there County a few years ago and is now incarcerated on outrageous charges he didn’t commit.  He caught his wife cheating in their home with a coworker from he US Postal job. He lost his temper and beat up the guy and the wife got knocked out in the process trying to get between them. The kids were home and heard their parents fighting for the first time in their lives and called grandma who called the police to meet her when she went to pick up the kids. The kids went with grandma and the cops just walked in his house but heard nothing . they called my son by name asking if all was well. and he came out and stood at the top of the stairs in asking them why are you in my house. He asked them to get out of his house they asked him to come down and talk to them. After a few minutes of back and forth conversationon a ploice officer of do you have a warrant I know my rights get out and police saying come down so we can cuff you to search the house for your wife to see if she is ok. My son asks his wife to tell them if she was ok or not in which she got up and said f you and slammed the door to the bedroom shut. The police  knew he didn’t slam the door he was not even near it but they rushed him and slammed him down and cuffed him then charged him with assault on a police officer which was a lie and the police body cam footage proves it.  When they get inside the bedroom his wife is in the bathtub of the master bedroom no boyfriend  is found and a deep cut is in his wife’s arm that he did not do but was charged with attempted murder torture mayhem along with the assault 9 felonies total and has been in the cell waiting to have this nightmare finally over for 20 months now . He is not allowed out of his cell for  any thing other than court trips. First offense no prior history of domestic violence no record and made a victim of prejudices that the court and jail staff has continued to keep giving to my son. The wife wants him home he has two boys that need a dad and riverside DA is offering 12 years. That’s an injustice beyond words to describe  for me. I need help for my son against these people. Any info will help please.

    Thank you for reading this long comment .



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