Report: Abusive culture in LA jail system

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A scalding report depicts a rogue culture inside the nation's largest county jail system in which Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies abused and humiliated inmates while top management failed to recognize problems or weed out bad officers.

The preliminary findings Friday by investigators for a special county panel say a "force first" approach was used in jails to establish authority over inmates, rather than as a last resort. Investigators conclude that a "code of silence" blocked the county Sheriff's Department from detecting or preventing excessive force used against inmates.

The report describes Sheriff Lee Baca — who oversees the jails — as aloof from the trouble festering in his senior ranks, and said the veteran lawman failed to monitor and control how force is used in the jails.

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