LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal jury has found Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca personally liable for failing to stop inmate abuse in Men's Central Jail.
The Los Angeles Times reports that last week's jury verdict was the first time Baca's been held personally responsible in a use-of-force case. He may be required to pay $100,000 out of pocket.
Sheriff's officials called the verdict a huge mistake and said they'd appeal.
Tyler Willis filed the federal civil rights lawsuit alleging that deputies severely beat him while he was an inmate awaiting trial in 2009.
The jury found Baca, Capt. Daniel Cruz and Deputies Anthony Vasquez, Mark Farino and Pedro Guerrero to have been "malicious, oppressive or in reckless" disregard of Willis' rights and fined them $165,000 total in punitive damages.