The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division initiated this civil investigation of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department on August 19, 2011. The investigation focused on allegations of unconstitutional conduct by deputies at two stations located in the Antelope Valley cities of Lancaster ...
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The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division initiated this civil investigation of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department on August 19, 2011. The investigation focused on allegations of unconstitutional conduct by deputies at two stations located in the Antelope Valley cities of Lancaster and Palmdale, California. DOJ proceeded under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,42 U.S.C. § 14141 (Section 14141), and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,42 U.S.C. § 2000d (Title VI). These laws authorize the United States to file a legal action when it has reasonable cause to believe that a law enforcement agency engages in a pattern or practice of violations of the Constitution or laws
of the United States. In addition, the investigation was also founded on the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3631.
On June 28, 2013, the Civil Rights Division issued a findings letter to the LASD. The letter explained that DOJ had found that LASD's Antelope Valley stations engaged in a pattern or practice of discriminatory and otherwise unlawful searches and seizures, including the use of unreasonable force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and Title VI. DOJ found, as well, that deputies assigned to these stations have engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against African Americans in violation of the Fair Housing Act, by targeting certain residents who possessed housing vouchers.
Although the County denied the allegation of unconstitutional conduct, simultaneous to the findings letter being made public, the parties entered a "statement of intent" to reach a comprehensive settlement agreement to be negotiated between the County of Los Angeles, and the U.S. The statement of intent explained that "[t]he Agreement to be negotiated is intended to ensure that: 1) LASD personnel in the Antelope Valley engage in practices that comply with the Constitution and laws of the United States; and 2) the objectives of LASD's Core Values and Trust-Based Policing program are realized in the Antelope Valley community." The "statement of intent" indicated that the parties intended to reach a final settlement agreement by August 30, 2013. - 03/05/2015
Marcy Blattner - 04/05/2015