Villanueva claims that the use of force incident wasn’t a cover-up. A new investigation is underway

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva on Tuesday Responding to allegations that there was a cover-up in relation to a force incident involving deputies last year at a courthouse, she said the matter was a communication problem rather than an attempt to protect those involved.

Inmate pounded a deputy numerous times during the March 10, 2021 incident. The deputy then pinned the inmate on the ground and made him kneel for approximately three minutes. Los Angeles Times reported last weekAfter taking video of the incident.

A screenshot of an article from Los Angeles Times is shown at the Alex Villanueva news conferences on March 29th, 2022.

Tuesday’s news conference came days after the newspaper published a story indicating people involved attempted to cover up the incident by not reporting the assault up the chain of command, fearing bad publicity.

The incident also occurred two days after the jury selection in the case against Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer.

According to the Times, who cited an internal force evaluation, those involved didn’t pursue criminal charges against the inmate involved to avoid negative attention to this incident and its similarities with the use force tactics in George Floyd’s case.

Villanueva admitted Tuesday that there had been a disruption in communication due to the incident. No criminal investigation was ordered. He stated that he only became aware of the video in November, and not October as was reported. Then he instructed the deputy to be removed from duty while an investigation is conducted into the criminal and administrative aspects of the incident.

He stated that a third investigation was ordered to investigate the matter. “disturbing conduct”After the encounter.

The Times was accused by the sheriff of attacking him during an election cycle. It indicated that the newspaper had published negative. “clickbait”He and his department have been featured in headlines several times over the past week. Gustavo Arellano is the columnist.

Villanueva claimed that the newspaper is trying. “regurgitate”Old news.

“This is all about throwing everything possible at my campaign,” Villanueva said. “This is everything but the kitchen sink.”

Even the Times was accused of working by him “in concert”During an investigation into the so-called “sea monsters”, we met with the inspector general, oversight commission and other members of the public. deputy gangsCompare the inquiry to “finding bigfoot.”

When asked why the original incident wasn’t made public at the time, the sheriff said it didn’t merit media coverage because no one was seriously injured.

“It was not something that was earth shattering news,” Villanueva said.

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