Santa Clara County Jail Has 300 Excessive Force Complaints: Report

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office on Thursday said the San Jose Mercury News report cited in this article is inaccurate. The sheriff's office said the assertion in the report that out of 300 use of force complaints, only 14 of the complaints were formally investigated by the sheriff’s internal affairs unit is untrue. In a press release, the sheriff's office said: "The Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs unit investigates each allegation of improper use of force, period."

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Inmates at a troubled Northern California jail have filed more than 300 excessive force complaints against guards in the last five years.

The San Jose Mercury News reports Wednesday that news of the complaints in the Santa Clara County jails comes from a new report compiled in the wake of a deadly inmate beating that led to murder charges against three officers.

Only 14 of the complaints were formally investigated by the sheriff's internal affairs unit.

But Sheriff Laurie Smith, who oversees the jails, says in a written statement Tuesday that her department takes "every alleged use of excessive force complaint seriously" and she has disciplined officers as the result of five complaints since 2010.

The Board of Supervisors has formed a commission to probe the August in custody death and other jail issues.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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