Four Alameda County, Ca., sheriff’s deputies were charged in a jail abuse scandal that involved directing an inmate in the Santa Rita Jail to attack other inmates with feces and urine.
Four Alameda County, Ca., sheriff’s deputies were charged Tuesday in a jail abuse scandal that involved directing an inmate in the Santa Rita Jail to attack other inmates with feces and urine, the Los Angeles Times reports. One deputy, Erik McDermott, 27, is also accused of strangling an inmate until he fell unconscious, said the Alameda County district attorney’s office. Prosecutors said McDermott and Deputy Justin Linn tried to intimidate a witness from speaking with investigators when they asked another inmate to inform the witness’s gang that he was a “snitch.”
Both deputies were charged with assault by a public officer — Linn was charged with four counts, while McDermott was charged with two — and one count each of dissuading a witness by force or threat and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Two other deputies, Sarah Krause, 26 and Stephen Sarcos, 30, were each charged with one count of assault by a public officer. District Attorney Nancy O’Malley called the attacks “sadistic and terrorizing acts.” She said, “There is no rational explanation for their actions aside from abject cruelty and a disregard for the humanity of the inmates.” A lengthy investigation began after jail employees told supervisors in January about the alleged abuse. The four deputies were then pulled from duty.