Two more Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies were sentenced to prison today after a federal judge refused to give them leniency because of their law enforcement status.
Deputy Sussie Ayala received a six-year sentence while deputy Fernando Luviano received a seven-year sentence.
Earlier this year, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Sergeant Eric Gonzalez was sentenced to eight years for his role in the beating of a man named Gabriel Carrillo, who in 2011, entered the county jail to visit his brother.
However, he was carrying a cell phone and was told they were not allowed in the jail. An argument ensued and he was shoved into a back room where he was viciously beaten by at least five deputies.
When Carrillo and his then-girlfriend were found carrying cellphones in the lobby of the jail visiting center — a violation of state law — they were handcuffed and taken into a private room.
After Carrillo mouthed off to Ayala, she summoned Luviano, who threw Carrillo to the floor. Other deputies joined in, unloading a barrage of kicks and punches. As Carrillo was held down and still handcuffed, Luviano pepper-sprayed him in the face.
Carrillo suffered a broken nose, bruises over his body and cuts on his face. Prosecutors argued during the trial that Ayala, Luviano and other deputies — under Gonzalez’s guidance — concocted a story that Carrillo had attacked the deputies and tried to escape when one of his hands was uncuffed for fingerprinting.
Based on that account, Carrillo was charged in state court with assaulting the deputies. The charges against Carrillo were dropped shortly before his trial was to have begun. The county later paid him $1.2 million to settle a civil lawsuit.
Initially, two other deputies, Pantamitr Zunggeemoge and Neal Womack, were facing the same charges for also having participated in the beating.
But after years of sticking to the false narrative that Carrillo only had one arm cuffed and was putting up a brutal fight that had them all grasping for survival and they struggled to detain the uncontrollable man, they struck a plea deal, agreeing to cross the blue line – admitting that they beat him because he had “mouthed off.”
In exchange, they were spared imprisonment and will not be allowed to work in law enforcement again.
However, now a sixth deputy who was apparently involved in the 2011 beating,
Byron Dredd, who no longer works for the sheriff’s department, was indicted last month and will be the next to face trial.
Unlike many judges, who tend to take a soft approach to convicted cops, U.S. District Judge George H. King has been holding these deputies as an example of what happens to bad cops.
“There are real consequences for the type of gross misconduct we have here,” Judge King said after sentencing Gonzalez earlier this month.