Eighteen current and former members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are accused of misconduct and abusing inmates in county jails, the New York Times reports.
Feds charged the defendants Monday with excessive use of force and obstruction of justice at the nation’s largest county’s jail system.
The charges follow countless complaints from inmates who say they were mistreated behind bars.
To make matters worse, two lieutenants are accused of trying to hide an FBI informant by releasing him and then rebooking him under a different name, the Times reports.
“Certain behavior had become institutionalized, and a group of officers considered themselves to be above the law,” André Birotte Jr., the United States attorney for Los Angeles, said. “Instead of ensuring the law is defended, they are accused of taking steps to prevent that.”