The Civilian Oversight Commission for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department hosted its monthly Commission meeting on Tuesday, and unanimously condemned the use of a “Fort Apache” seal at the East L.A. Sheriff’s Station.
Other topics included:
* Election of Commission leadership
* Status of active settlement agreements involving L.A. County jails
Fort Apache Insignia
The Commission unanimously voted to support a resolution that condemns the use of the Fort Apache seal by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department personnel. It also calls for the immediate removal of the seal from all areas of the East L.A. Sheriff Station and the Sheriff’s Department as a whole.
The resolution outlines:
* The Fort Apache seal was created as a negative critique of former Sheriff Pitchess’ order that East L.A. sheriff station deputies refrain from using force against anti-Vietnam War protestors during the 1970 Chicano Moratorium in a purported effort to de-escalate a tense situation;
* The Fort Apache seal portrays riot gear and mottos that may suggest the sheriff station is a lone outpost where deputies are at war with local communities;
* Former Sheriff McDonnell banned the seal in 2016 to address concerns about the divisive impact of the seal and to correct misimpressions about the East L.A. sheriff station;
* Countless members of the community find the Fort Apache seal offensive and culturally insensitive and it serves as a reminder of the tension between the community and the East L.A. sheriff station;
* Sheriff Villanueva reignited controversy in 2019 by reinstating the seal in the East L.A. sheriff station.
View the full Resolution here.
The Commission unanimous voted to re-elected Patti Giggans to serve another term as chair and to approve Lael Rubin as vice-chair. The Commission expressed appreciation to Priscilla Ocen, who has served as vice-chair for the last year.
L.A. County Jails
Steve Edwards and Amie Park from L.A. County Counsel presented a status of active settlement agreements involving mental health services, suicide prevention, and the use of force in the county jails. Richard Drooyan, a court-appointed federal monitor for L.A. County jail reforms responded to additional questions.
“It’s important for the public to know how the department is doing,” Drooyan stated. “I think the department does take that very seriously and they want these numbers to improve.”
To check out the presentation, click here.
To listen to the meeting, click here.