In 2005, Hugo Sarmiento of Los Angeles attended a Garden Grove protest against right-wing activist Jim Gilchrist and his anti-immigrant Minuteman Project, got arrested by cops he claims fabricated charges in hopes of sending him to prison and then landed inside the Orange County Jail, where he says deputies assaulted him.
Prosecutors weren't impressed with the cops' sensational assertions and offered to dismiss the case if Sarmiento accepted a wrist slap for a minor misdemeanor. Though he agreed, he also sued Garden Grove police and sheriff's deputies.
He lost the case, but the Ninth Circuit court of appeals believed the dismissal of Sarmiento's case against the deputies was flawed and ordered a new trial that took place last month.
The alleged particulars are interesting: After spending hours in custody of Garden Grove cops, a completely sober Sarmiento--now a P.h.D student at UCLA--was transferred to the county jail, where he says obnoxious deputies yelled, "This Mexican speaks English," declared him intoxicated, tossed him into the drunk tank, kicked and punched him in the face, and interrogated him about his political beliefs.
Lawyers for the deputies portrayed the claims as ridiculous.
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Like they customarily do, an Orange County federal jury didn't see any evidence of deputy wrongdoing either.