ACLU CDCR LAPD LASD LGBTQ Prison Policy Solitary

CA Prisons Halt Race-based Lockdowns, Inequality for San Bernardino Gay and Trans Inmates, LAPD Fires Detective, and LA Jails Use-of-force #s


On Wednesday, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation agreed to stop race-determined prisoner lockdowns, settling a 2008 lawsuit on behalf of male inmates.

The settlement says lockdowns will now apply to everyone “in the affected area” after a riot or violent incident, or will be conducted by assessing individual threat. The CDCR also agreed to give outdoor recreation time to inmates in the event of a lockdown lasting more than 14 days.

The LA Times’ Paige St. John has the story. Here’s how it opens:

When a group of prisoners attacked two guards at California’s High Desert State Prison in 2006, the warden declared a full lockdown that confined African Americans in one wing of the prison to their cells, and kept them there for 14 months.

No outdoor exercise. No rehabilitation programs or prison jobs.

This week, California agreed to give up its unique use of race-based punishment as a tool to control violence in its crowded prisons. Corrections chief Jeffrey Beard and lawyers for inmates have settled a six-year-long civil rights lawsuit, filed in 2008, over the High Desert lockdown.

The case was eventually widened to cover all prisoners and lockdown practices that had become common statewide. The agreement now goes to a federal judge for expected approval.


A new ACLU class action lawsuit filed Wednesday accuses San Bernardino County of refusing gay, bisexual, and transgender inmates education, work and rehabilitation programs to which other inmates have access. According to the suit, GBT inmates at West Valley Detention Center are locked in their cells for 22 hours per day, unable to participate available programs. Jail officials say GBT inmates are segregated for their protection, but the ACLU says there’s no excuse for denying access to programs that may help inmates shave off lockup time or help them prepare for successfully returning to their communities.

Here’s a clip from the ACLU’s site:

The denials of education, work and rehabilitation are particularly galling, as participation in these programs can not only reduce the time they serve, but can also facilitate their integration back into society, reducing recidivism rates and the strain on our already overburdened criminal justice system.

Although in most instances WVDC staff have claimed that this harsh treatment is for their “protection,” protective custody and equal protection are not mutually exclusive. Jails and prisons cannot justify discriminatory treatment of LGBT prisoners under the guise of keeping them “safe.”

While there can be no doubt that LGBT prisoners are often vulnerable to harassment and assaults by other prisoners and many need protection, it is both possible and imperative that our correctional facilities ensure the safety of their charges while providing equal access to programs, privileges and facilities, as required by the Prison Rape Elimination Act and our constitutional guarantee of equal protection.

Jails are simply not Constitution-free zones.

For further reading, the San Bernardino Sun’s Ryan Hagen has some good reporting on the alleged inequality (and harassment from deputies) faced by West Valley inmates.


On Wednesday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck signed paperwork to fire detective Frank Lyga, who was accused of making inappropriate and racist remarks during a department training session. (Backstory: here.) Lyga is reportedly considering appealing or filing a lawsuit.

ABC7’s Elex Michaelson has the story. Here are some clips:

Ira Salzman, Lyga’s attorney, confirmed on Wednesday that LAPD Chief Charlie Beck signed paperwork to fire Lyga, who had been on home duty with pay since June.

“We didn’t get an opportunity to present our appeal,” Salzman said, adding that the firing was unfair. “Horribly disappointed.”


In a letter to LAPD investigators, Lyga said he deeply regretted his poor judgment. He said there’s no excuse for what he did, but he learned valuable lessons.

“By no means does Frank, to his everlasting credit, or I say it’s OK what he said. It wasn’t OK,” Salzman said. “But that doesn’t at all justify a termination over words.”

Community activist Jasmyne Cannick, the blogger who first posted the recording online, disagreed with Salzman, saying in a statement, “Detective Frank Lyga wrote his own termination when he said what he said.”


New LA County Sheriff’s Department statistics show use-oF-force in county jails rose 11% so far this year. It’s not yet clear that this number is significant. The numbers were reported to the LA County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. According to LASD officials, the spike may be attributed to a number of things, including more thorough use-of-force reporting.

The jail that reported the highest percentage jump in use-of-force incidents, 40%, was at Castaic’s North County Correctional Facility, while Twin Towers actually saw a reduction of 12% over last year’s numbers. You can view the rest of the statistics here (on page five).

KPCC’s Frank Stoltze has more on the numbers. Here are some clips:

The biggest increase occurred at North County Correctional Facility in Castaic, where Sheriff’s deputies used force against inmates 65 times – a 40 percent increase compared to the same period last year. The jail holds about 3,900 inmates.

“I’m not sure if the actual use of force is up, or if we’re doing a better job reporting it,” said Assistant Sheriff Terri McDonald, who oversees the county’s sprawling jail system. “But I’m concerned it’s up.”


In all, deputies used force 512 times during the first nine months of the year. Most of the incidents — 352 — involved “control holds” or the use of chemical agents like Mace. Punches, kicks, the use of Tasers or batons, “and/or any use of force which results in an injury or lasting pain” accounted for 157 incidents.

Three incidents involved shootings, strikes to the head, “and/or any force which results in skeletal fractures and/or hospitalization.”

In 53 cases, inmates accused deputies of using excessive force. The department determined 42 allegations were unfounded, ten remain under review, and one was determined to be true.


  • Is Lyra a “Shit Talking Racist Bastard”?……….Yes.

    Should he be fired?…..Not, unless you get others who have knowingly done worst. Chief Beck succumbed to pressure.

    What about the “Norco Caper” involving Shaun Hillman?…..Nepotism at it’s best.

  • Officers Hillman and Lyga’s behavior is more common than you think.

    Racism and condescending attitudes towards other will alway exist, however no one should be subject to that type of behavior from any “PEACE OFFICER” ( what a coincidence for a title)

    Don’t jump to conclusions, thinking that this applies only to Caucasian Officers, but all “Peace Officers”…..Black, Brown & Tan Officers also.

  • I was originally of the mindset that Lyga’s termination was a bit harsh. However, after thinking it thru, I feel that the actions taken by chief Beck were justified.

    For far too long the Lyga’s of the world have been allowed to, with absolute impunity, create a hostile/uncomfortable work environment by verbally expressing opinions in a manner that many find offensive. And folks like him couldn’t care less.

    These people have been warned and advised. The importance of the proper use of language has been thoroughly briefed for many years by agencies such as the LAPD and we have been through harassment courses.

    I can only speculate that someone such as Lyga resented the courses, the briefings, laughed the aforementioned away as politically correct nonsense and labeled those who may be offended by demeaning language as “too sensitive”.

    Apparently, simple communication along with an abundance of training does not resonate with the Lyga’s of the world. And I, along with many others, do not appreciate having to sit thru briefings, training courses etc., having to listen to the personal opinion of someone who is far from well-rounded or learned.

    There has been a great deal of effort placed into addressing attitudes possessed by Lyga but he can’t seem to understand that the world, along with the prevailing demeanor of LAPD, has changed. So what do we do with his type now? YA FIRE THEM!

  • @#2. Nepotism and try double standard. Beck is caught in a blatant lie about some horse his daughter sold the department and did anything happen? Nope. He’s given the benefit of the doubt and left in a position to make life changing decisions for the line swine. Do as I say. Not as I do…which unfortunately is typical of modern police work

  • @ #2. What you are speaking of is a combination of “Past Practice” and (S.O.P.) Standard Operating Procedures”, for an organization that initially consisted primarily of WASP males. My….how times “have not” changed.

    To all of those who have been around. ……nothing of the sort is “New” or “Surprising”

  • @ #4. You called it correctly. His “type” runs rampant in many departments.

    Another neck that had to get checked before his “Department” was Wrecked.

    He was definitely a liability. Trust me…..LAPD is better off.

  • If you look at the rank structure of the department, it still remains overwhelmingly WASP, in spite of the fact minorities are collectively a majority of the department. Nepotism, political patronage, and good old fashioned quid pro quo remain the rule of the day. Of course if you ask any of these august managers or executives, they firmly believe they achieved their elevated status based on merit.

    The LASD semi-official response to valid claims of lack of diversity is that it won’t be a problem in 20 years, just be patient. Translation: we will continue the good old by system until we are forced out of office or the courts make us promote based on merit. LAPD and the LASD are in the same boat, just variations on a theme.

    For a good laugh, read the LA Times article from today:

  • Justin: Hopefully simple communication will work when some idiot is trying to grab your gun in some stinking alley. If not, you may have to drop the sensitivity training and try something more demeaning.

  • Justin: Hopefully my insensitive comments did not offend you. Please go back and finish your latte. A highly educated and sensitive person like you would never find yourself in a stinking alley chasing a suspect.

  • Justin……..The bandwagon idiot is typical of what we still have in blue, if he ever wore a uniform,…….. hopefully it hid the Red on his neck.

  • Black N Blue: Bandwagon validated my comment and has no idea that he’s done so. His attitude reaffirms my notion that the days of attempting to talk to these people are over, ya just fire them.

    He actually believes that his response to my comment is appropriate and relevant. Sadly, the circles in which he dwells, he probably has plenty of crippling support helping him believe in his own nonsense.

  • What you speak of, is the “Elephant and Gorilla” in the room. Of course if you address them, then you are ousted. Nothing new there.

  • LATBG…for the last ten + years, there was an organized effort to skirt civil service rules to promote those who wrote checks and supported Paul politically. It was not about white, black, brown or yellow….it was about green and political patronage. Additionally some of those white faces might be Jewish, catholic, female, gay….. Whatever..

  • At Justin………Trust me, those few “crippling supporters” that agree with him will shortly write something just as silly. He and “his kind” are being exposed every time they open their mouth….just like Lyga.

  • Black N Blue/Justin: I love to stoke the flames of controversy. There is can old say in police work “you can’t argue with a drunk”. The same can be said of liberals. Go back to drinking your lattes and leave police work to the professionals.

  • By the way, it was great to see you guys/gals at the last Occupy Wall Street protest. Too bad you were on the wrong side of the skirmish line.

  • Handicapper, that is true, but the effect was quite noticeable based on who was playing the game or who refused. Imagine the horrors if McDonnell decides that all positions are open to competition and based on job related criteria specific to the position. There is an entire crowd of political patron beneficiaries lined up for their next promotion who would lose their mind. All that ass kissing and bootlicking for nothing? OMG!

    And then there are all the incumbents in those positions who wouldn’t stand a snowball chance in hell of earning their positions if they had to compete for them. Herein lies the catastrophic failure of leadership, lieutenants and above who have no business occupying the positions they hold, indebted to their master to the hilt. They do (or did) as they are told, and their only concern is what affects their next promotion.

    McDonnell already knows he will not implement Department-wide reform with that crowd in charge.

  • Justin: I was hoping for more than self righteous indignation. You disappoint me. Obviously, our education system is failing.

  • Black N Blue: I suggest before you cast aspersions on the character of Detective Lyga, you read the book “Labyrinth”. I don’t know you or Det. Lyga, but I’m quite sure you’re
    not qualified to even carry his “war bag”.

  • Here! Here! Bandwagon & Handicapper…..It’s always “whitey’s” fault. Notice how race is the only qualification for the open minded liberal. Every comment, action or disagreement is motivated by RACISM.

    Lyga shot a real DIRTY COP, the type of cop that movies like Training Day were based upon. Not the type of cop that gets a little rough when fighting with a bad guy. He killed the type of DIRTY COP that robs banks, slings dope and steals money from other thugs. No right thinking person should shed any tears for that THUG who dishonored the badge. The opened minded bleeding hearts only see the color of the DIRTY COP’S skin, not the color of his soul.

  • Bandwagon, you’re really exposing your ugly side friend. You’re a dinosaur. Face your demons. I know your kind. Tougher and smarter than every minority. Probably never could identify with the people of the communities you’ve policed. An elitist. You’re fear seeths intolerance and has made you the bully you are. You justify occupational- force style policing as, “good police work.” Walking around the station hallways with your arrogant swagger. Your sidearm an extension of your inferior member.

    Identify with the community you serve. Walk in their shoes for a day. Its good medicine. Better than Xanax.

    As for Justin, the new breed. Whether democrat or republican, who really cares anyway. Face it friend, they’re here to stay and I hope they do a better job.

  • @ 22) “Typical Cracker”……….#16 called it correctly.

    Fear & Denial only leads to”Cyber Rants”

    Are you seeking mental help? Group therapy? ….. Chai Tea?,…..Focus Groups?

    The World around your “little” world is changing. Deal with it or leave!

  • #23
    Compton PD was “reflective of the community” wasn’t it? How were they liked by the community?

    Oops. Sorry. I’m not supposed to comment on every thread or engage in every debate.
    ESPECIALLY when I point out the elephant in the room or provide real life examples or facts that make some people very uncomfortable.

    I’ll be quiet now. Carry on with your vision of Utopia and your ideologically driven perception of what the problem is.

  • @ Oh well 》》》Facts?…….You’re cracking me up. You have been Stunned, Stumped & Stomped on in this blog by many with your slanted views, every time you part your lips.
    Since you only speak your “Opinion”, one can’t take you serious.
    No time to go back n forth with you. Just reminding you, that you are Pure Comedy.

  • Can’t actually say if Compton PD officers we’re reflective of the community. Maybe as far as demographics. Just because they might be reflective of doesn’t mean they identified with the community. I’m certain there were some who were respected by a majority of the community.

  • @ Cracker Jack…….I don’t see who brought up “Race” in this thread, except for number .3) and that wasn’t negative. You put “Whitey” in the dialog.

    This is about Cops and their actions. It appears as though you are instigating matters. Let’s stay on point.

    As far as Liberals are concerned, you are cornered as long as you live in the biggest Liberal State in the land…… California.

  • Go McDonnell: You have no clue my friend. I have faced my demons and am better for it. I remember in the not to distant past, having to wipe the bile from an African American’s mouth, so I could continue CPR. So cut the bullshit my friend… your liberal sensitivities for someone else. As for being a dinosaur, I thank you for that and will wear it as a badge of honor, something you will never understand.

  • Go McDonnell: By the way, the Department gave this bigot a “Life Saving” award for that incident. I guess I have them fooled….huh

  • Wow…@ 29……You gave yourself away when mentioned the act of service to an “AFRICAN AMERICAN”.

    Next is the “my best friend is Black”. You speak like “Mark Furman” at the O.J. Trial. Go away bandwagon! You have been exposed.

  • Don’t take this personal real world, but you must be an “idiot”. The term was necessary in response to GoMcDonnell’s comments. I would venture to say Mark Furman was a better cop than you will ever be. Now go bother someone else. You’re boring me!

  • #26
    Here’s some FACTS for you from Wiki. You can entertain yourself by laughing at them.
    Here’s what they report about Compton PD’s last Chief of Police.

    Hourie L. Taylor 01/01/93-09/16/99 (fired by City Manager John Johnson)
    During Taylor’s tenure with the department, he saw an increase in the number of minorities that predominate the department (special attn. Non Stop Laughs and GoMcDonnell to- “predominate the department”) and the department became much more sensitive to the needs of the community.

    Well there you go. Minorities predominated the department, they had a black police chief that was raised in the City of Compton, and under him they became more sensitive to the needs of the community.
    They fired him. Then they disbanded the Compton PD and contracted with the LASD for their police services.
    So much for that “indentifying with the community” talking point of the naive misguided ideologically driven who are in search of the non-existent land of Utopia where the citizens of the community love their PD.
    I hope this provides you with lots of laughs.

  • Bandwagon. Sometimes its best to say less. By the way, I’m far from liberal. Nor am I a fanatic. Don’t confuse empathy for sympathy or kindness for weakness. We all face demons. Then make the decision on whether to fight them or not. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. We just have to stay in the fight. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to fight the same demons. Badges tarnish and dinosaurs are extinct. Congrats on the life saving award my friend. Been there. Only I didn’t get an award for it.

  • @ LITTLE “RED” Bandwagon. There is nothing you can say for “cleanup or damage control” “You Guys” are so predictable.

    You’re probably “BEET RED” as you read this.

  • Duke, You can’t be that dense. Lyga’s firing has everything to do with race and his controversial shooting of a fellow black officer. You need to step outside of the cocoon you’ve created for yourself at that online college you’ve been attending. Not everybody believes that cow gas emissions mean the earth is coming to an end. There are plenty of folks in California that have common sense. It wasn’t that long ago that California was called Reagan Country and blacks were predominately Republican. Jackie Robinson-Republican. Anyway, after tomorrow’s election, you’ll find that you will be cornered. Cali may be blue for now but the country is red. My side doesn’t want to corner or marginize you, just enlighten you. It takes time to undo 14 years of brain washing. Don’t hate Whitey. It won’t make your life any better.

  • #33. You’re quick to jump to conclusions and twist facts pal. First of all, I, nor anyone else ever suggested identifying with the communty leads to Utopia. Your words.

    Chief Hourie was fired by a corrupt, dysfunctional city governenment because of the controversy surrounding the department. NOT because minorities predominated the depatrment, led by a Black chief who identified with the community. That$s you’re twisted interpretation of an incomplete Wikipedia writing. What you fail to objectively mention is the other chiefs who were successful in their tenures.

    Do yourself a favor and stop with the patronizing rhetoric. You’re really walking a racist line. Since the LASD takeover, the make up of the station is balanced by minority deputies and command staff. Crime rates continue to decrease. The good people of the community who we partner with love us. Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t. Walk the MLK parade and tell me we are not loved by the community. As a disclaimer, I’m not assigned to CPT and never have been.

    I challenge you and Bandwagon to identify with the community by understanding the everyday struggles of the people. How would you cope with raising your family under their conditions? Just make sure to do it genuinely and not for some notice-me, self-serving agenda.

    Since you brought up the subject- tell us? How should we police??

  • Good try Real World, but I can judge the source. Sorry, but I won’t be losing any sleep from your comments. GoMcDonnell, not too much I can say to you, obviously you have me all figured out….do you do palm reading also?

  • Go McDonnell,
    How about that. We couldn’t agree more. The citizens of Compton do love us for the most part. That is exactly my point. Thanks for acknowledging that. I’m not twisting facts or putting a spin on anything.
    Bottom line, Compton PD was “reflective of the community” concerning it’s demographics. Their officers and administration “identified” with the residents of the community.
    Yet those very same citizens are happy the LASD now polices Compton. Why? Because it has a lot less to do with “identifying with the community” and a lot more to do with being competent, hard working cops who take enough pride in their job to respond to calls and solve crimes, REGARDLESS of their ethnicity.
    BTW, “Walking a racist line”???? Really? Is that the best you’ve got? That same old, tired, worn out rebuttal that let’s anybody with a room temperature IQ know you’re getting smoked in a debate?
    You’re not doing yourself any favors insinuating things you not only can’t substantiate with any factual evidence, but also about a person you know absolutely nothing about.
    But alas, go ahead and throw out the “racist” card if you must. After all. It’s quite obvious that’s all you’ve got.
    Thanks again for making my point for me.

  • @ Cracker jack….I offered my opinion in a civil and diplomatic manner and you responded like your “Toy Doll” was taken from you. @24) Real World was the one who “ripped you a new one” and you talk crap to me?……Wow! Based upon your typed tirades, you come off as “Archie Bunker” with your “Blast from the Past” …. “Reagan Country” & “Jackie Robinson” comments, along with your “Scared Whitey” comment. Your ignorance and fear is blaring. You seeth anger. Maybe you were 211’d for your lunch money in 1st grade by a “kid of color” (black, tan, brown, native American red.) Maybe you’re still angry when you were greeted with “Guess who’s coming to dinner?” The bottom line is….The world is revolving, you should revolve with it. Adapt to life and live longer. Try it

  • @ Cracker: So much for your prediction……California is Still blue, and Brown has surpassed any Governor (even Reagan) in this state with a unprecedented 4th term.

    I hope you’re not afraid of Brown. It’s the “dominant” color in California.

    Embrace it and coexist without fear.

  • @Oh well. I don’t know your identity, however, I may know you. You’re a twisted person. A bigoted, egomaniacal-blowhard. You’re the one who brought Race into this discussion. I don’t need to drop race cards. Never have. You just don’t get it. Go away. I’m not going to play your weak battle of the wits game. I stand by my belief in identifying with the communities we police. We don’t need your kind in law enforcement.

  • A couple of suggestions for you GoMcDonnell.
    1. Take your crystal ball back to the psychic you bought it from and get your money back . You’ve been ripped off.
    2. Don’t assume things about people you nothing about. It makes you look silly.

  • Duke…..did you learn that lunch money insult from your cellie? I’m sure u earned your lunch money the hard way in county jail. Try some new material. Congrats on your Jerry Brown and Prop 47 victory. Jail is for cops, not criminals and u can get your felony conviction changed to a misdemeanor. Unfortunately for you, your lunch money was taken away from you yesterday. Your side lost big time and u pretend it didn’t happen. That’s the definition of delusional. I’m not angry or scared, despite the hate and bigotry you spew. If I’m Archie Bunker than you re Meathead.

  • @ 42. GoMcDonnell……Thanks for hitting the “8 Ball” for calling out “oh well” and putting his knocking knees on the carpet.

    Trust me, he is a character who gets spanked here and there on WLA.

    He knows it all…..can’t you tell?

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