June 17, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

LA County District Attorney Investigator Files Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Sheriff Jim McDonnell

An investigator with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Sheriff Jim McDonnell and a group of deputies, alleging he was beaten and unlawfully detained while working last year.

Maurice Lallemand contends in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that he was battered and held by deputies in a patrol car  despite his status as one of about 300 sworn investigators with the district attorney’ office, the Los Angeles Times reported. His complaint calls the experience “an inexcusable, despicable and intolerable episode of government-gone-wild.”

The suit represents a rare public account of one peace officer alleging he was brutalized and unlawfully apprehended by other officers. Representatives of the sheriff’s department and the district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The suit says the incident began about 6 a.m. on May 13, 2016, outside a home in Bellflower. Lallemand was in his county-issued police car and trying to serve a robbery victim a subpoena, The Times reported.

Lallemand used his police radio to notify his department command center, which shares the same frequency as the Sheriff’s Department, that he was at the location. He got out of his car wearing a police badge, a radio and a lanyard with “police” written on his identification card, according to The Times.

Four L.A. County sheriff’s deputies arrived and, even though Lallemand identified himself as a sworn peace officer, he was assaulted, battered, detained and searched, according to the suit. He says he was retaliated against for his comments to the deputies, including, “You guys are inexperienced and incompetent,” according to the suit.

Deputies locked Lallemand in their patrol car with a person who “appeared to be a drug addict,” according to the suit.

Two months later, Lallemand and a colleague tried to submit a complaint against the deputies at the sheriff’s Lakewood Station but they were rebuffed. A supervisor allegedly  ordered a desk sergeant not to accept the complaint. Lallemand contends the refusal was part of a scheme to conceal the alleged wrongdoing.

The lawsuit  seeks damages for violations of civil rights, humiliation, and emotional and physical injuries, The Times reported.

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