Deputies Plead Guilty to Covering Up Assault Against Inmate’s Brother

In this photo taken Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, carrying his belongings and blanket Derek Martinez, 37, waits to enter a his assigned cell block after his arrival at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy Calif. Martinez, a second strike offender from Shasta County, has been serving a life term with the possibility of parole for first degree murder since 2007. California counties are thwarting the state's efforts to comply with a federal court order to reduce it's inmate population by sending state prisons far more convicts than anticipated including a record number of second-strikers. The state is trying to comply with a landmark restructuring of its criminal justice system through a nearly 3-year-old law pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown that keeps lower-level felons in county jails while reserving scarce state prison cells for serious, violent and sexual offenders.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Originally published on June 2, 2015, at NationofChange.org

Two Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies have agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges regarding a brutal assault against an inmate’s brother visiting the Men’s Central Jail (MCJ). After the first deputy pled guilty earlier this year, a second deputy agreed to plead guilty last week to lying to FBI agents during an interview concerning the use force employed against a handcuffed visitor who was not resisting. Both deputies have also agreed to testify against their former colleagues if the prosecution calls on them at trial.

On February 26, 2011, Gabriel Carrillo attempted to visit his brother in MCJ when deputies discovered that Carrillo’s girlfriend, Griselda Torres, had brought a cellphone into the facility. When questioned by deputies, Torres admitted that both she and Carrillo had their cellphones with them. After confirming that he did have a phone, Carrillo asked Deputy Pantamitr Zunggeemoge, “What are you going to do, arrest me?”

According to the initial report, Carrillo was placed in handcuffs and escorted to a nearby break room. After deputies removed the handcuff from Carrillo’s right wrist to fingerprint him, he attacked the deputies and attempted to escape. The deputies claimed that Carrillo was intentionally spitting blood at them as they shot him in the face with pepper spray. They admitted to punching Carrillo several times to subdue him before placing Carrillo in restraints again.

But according to the recent plea agreements, Carrillo did not assault the deputies and was unable to resist arrest because his hands were cuffed while they were beating and pepper-spraying him on the floor. Carrillo filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and the district attorney later dropped the charges against him. The county paid Carrillo $1.2 million to settle the civil suit.

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