Originally published on June 21, 2015, at NationofChange.org
Two former Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies testified against their fellow deputies this week after brutally assaulting an inmate’s brother and covering up their excessive use of force. The victim and his girlfriend also testified in court presenting evidence that the deputies had lied about removing one of his handcuffs before beating the victim unconscious in a break room at Men’s Central Jail (MCJ) in Downtown Los Angeles. According to the deputies’ testimonies, their sergeant ordered them to lie and concoct a false narrative accusing the victim of resisting arrest.
On February 26, 2011, Gabriel Carrillo attempted to visit his brother, who was an inmate at MCJ, when deputies discovered that Carrillo’s then-girlfriend, Griselda Torres, had brought a cellphone into the facility. When questioned by deputies, Torres admitted that both she and Carrillo had their cellphones on them. After confirming that he did have a phone, Carrillo asked Deputy Pantamitr Zunggeemoge, “What are you going to do, arrest me?”
According to Zunggeemoge’s testimony, the deputy cuffed Carrillo’s hands behind his back and escorted him to a nearby break room, while Deputy Sussie Ayala placed Torres in handcuffs and followed them. Zunggeemoge slammed Carrillo into a refrigerator before patting him down and lifting his cuffed arms in order to inflict more pain. As Carrillo continued to mouth off to the deputies, Ayala called for backup on her radio.
When deputies Fernando Luviano, Noel Womack, and Sgt. Eric Gonzalez arrived, Zunggeemoge left the room to run Carrillo’s name through a criminal database. Zunggeemoge returned to find Luviano roughing up Carrillo. Instead of de-escalating the violence, Zunggeemoge rushed into the room and helped Luviano smash Carrillo’s face against the ground.