By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
It's a situation screaming for immediate reform. Since rogue deputies apparently aren't going to be fired or disciplined, here's an idea: audio- and videotape the processing of everyone entering the jail. That would help settle allegations of abuse.
But even such modest reforms are unlikely. Carona, local judges, the grand jury and the county's Board of Supervisors—which regularly pays out millions of taxpayer dollars to settle abuse cases—have proved to be co-conspirators. For example, the previous grand jury began investigating the jail last year but decided one subject was off-limits: jail beatings. In a May report that echoed deputy demands for more money and better offices, the grand jury hinted at its lack of concern about the violence. Deputies treated them with "respect and courtesy" when they visited the jail, they noted.
There's hope, however. Carona—struggling through embarrassing revelations about his incompetence, connections to felons, fund-raising irregularities and a sordid mess involving an alleged series of extramarital affairs—might not be in office after next June's election. The new grand jury could take its government watchdog role seriously. And thank God for the FBI: following the Weekly's Aug. 12 "Justice Takes a Beating" cover story about abuses in the OC Jail, a federal agent met with Hall. Perhaps the agency will be interested in talking to Wilson too. He's got a story to tell.
"I moved down here to start my career and hopefully get the attention of the NFL," he said. "I didn't come here to get beaten for no good reason."