In the seemingly rare case of a cop being brought to justice for violent crimes against civilians, a (former) Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputy will have to sit for a little while for misconduct. Former Sgt. Eric Gonzalez was sentenced to eight years in federal prison yesterday for overseeing the brutal beating of Gabriel Carillo, a visitor at Men’s County Jail, in 2011. The 15-year vet was found guilty of deprivation of civil rights, conspiracy to violate constitutional rights and falsification of records in June for the assault.
ABC News sets the scene for the 2011 incident:
Deputies stopped Carrillo, who was at the jail to visit his brother, because he had a cellphone, which is prohibited. The beating began, prosecutors say, when a handcuffed Carrillo commented to a deputy that if he weren’t restrained, “it would be a different story.”
As Gonzalez watched, deputies threw Carrillo against a refrigerator, took him to the ground, repeatedly punched and kicked him, and pepper sprayed his face. Carrillo was then charged with battery on a custodial officer, resisting and attempted escape during a lawful detention — charges that were later dropped.
So far, four other deputies have been convicted in connection to this incident. A fifth was indicted last month and will have his day in court in December. These convictions are being used in a federal investigation against LA Sheriff’s Department (the nation’s second largest). According to ABC News:
Nearly two dozen members of the department, including the former second-in-command, have been charged with crimes ranging from beatings to obstruction of justice; 15 of them have been convicted so far, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Carillo received $1.2 million from Los Angeles County to drop a civil lawsuit he filed pertaining to his beating.