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Community Organizers, Family Members Support Supervisors Call for Civilian Oversight of LA County Jails

Los Angeles, CA – Organizers and family members of those affected by Sheriff's Deputy violence in the L.A. County Jails spoke in support of a motion by Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Gloria Molina placing the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. under civilian oversight. Organized by the Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in L.A. Jails (C2ESV), a grassroots multiracial organization, this press conference was held Tuesday, September 17, at  9 a.m. prior to the weekly meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on the steps of the Kenneth Hahn Building, 500 W. Temple Street, Los Angeles.

Speakers at the press conference were Sandra Neal, whose son is a survivor of Sheriff's Deputy violence in the L.A. jails; Peter Eliasberg, Legal Director of the ACLU of Southern California; and Mark-Anthony Johnson, Organizer with C2ESV. The speakers called for, among other things, that a proposed Citizen's Oversight Commission (1) be independent of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department in its membership and function; (2) include no more than one member of law enforcement; (3) be comprised of at least two community members per county district; and (4) receive complaints from members of the community as part of its plan to keeping the Sheriff's Department transparent and accountable.

"When my brother was brutalized by the Sheriff's Department our family had no one to turn to," said Patrisse Cullors-Brignac, founder and lead organizer of C2ESV. "Like many others, my brother and our family were left with no answers, and no justice. I hope that all of the county supervisors will vote yes to this proposed Citizen's Oversight Commission."

The Coalition has been advocating and organizing for independent civilian oversight over the sheriff's department for the past year, hosting well attended town hall meetings on the subject in both Supervisor Molina's and Ridley-Thomas' districts.

[The Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in L.A. Jails is a grassroots multiracial organization bringing together community organizations, health providers, clergy, attorneys, community residents, friends and families and survivors of the brutality inside L.A. jails to fight for real accountability. We are proposing a People's Civilian Review Board comprised wholly of citizens that has subpoena power, where citizen complaints are reviewed and investigated, and recommendations for disciplinary or policy action are made by the board. The Coalition believes that this model of a citizen's review board is the most independent citizen review model.]



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