LA sheriff’s department subject of civil rights investigation by state

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the probe on Friday citing 'serious concerns' over accountability

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has had a troubling reputation over the years. As a result, the state of California is now launching a civil rights investigation into the department, according to NBC News.

The investigation was announced on Jan. 22 by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. He tweeted that, “There are serious concerns and reports that accountability and adherence to legitimate policing practices have lapsed at LASD.”

Read More: FEMA names Los Angeles county as most dangerous area in America

California attorney general Xavier Becerra speaks during a news conference at the California justice department on September 18, 2019 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Becerra’s office also released an official statement regarding the investigation, saying it “comes on the heels of allegations of excessive force, retaliation, and other misconduct, as well as a number of recent reported incidents involving LASD management and personnel.” 

The LA sheriff’s office has been in the news a lot in 2020.

The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Department is onsite at the All Black Lives Matter Solidarity March on June 14, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

After the tragic death of former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash, eight LA county sheriff deputies took unauthorized photos of the crash site. According to a previous report by theGrio, Sheriff Alex Villanueva  confirmed that he had order his deputies to delete them, but Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, contended that some of the deputies may have shared the photos with members of the public.

READ MORE: Manhunt ensues after LA County deputies are ‘ambushed’ in patrol car

In June, 18-year-old Andres Guardado was fatally shot by two LA county sheriff deputies, as reported by CNN. The teenager was reportedly shot five times in the back. The two deputies involved in the shooting were fired in December.

Andres Guardado was fatally shot in the back five times by LA county sheriffs deputies. (Family of Andres Guardado)

In September, two LA county sheriff deputies were ambushed and shot by an assailant while sitting in their patrol car in Compton. ABC News reports that a suspect, Deonte Murray, was arrested in October.

Villanueva is welcoming the investigation and said that he has requested intervention from the attorney general’s office.

“I look forward to this non-criminal ‘pattern and practice’ investigation,” Villanueva said. “Our Department may finally have an impartial, objective assessment of our operations.”

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