Three Los Angeles Sheriff Deputies Convicted
In February 2011, Gabriel Carrillo came to the Los Angeles county jail to visit his brother. He had a cell phone, and mouthed off to the deputies when told that it was a misdemeanor offense to bring a cell phone into the visitation room. Deputy Pantamitr Zunggeemoge arrested Gabriel, and took him into a break room where there is no video. Zunggeemoge handcuffed Gabriel, and confiscated the cell phone.
Gabriel Carrillo who usually looks like this …
came out of the break room looking like this.
Five deputies beat, kneed, and pepper sprayed Gabriel. Once they were content that they had taught Gabriel a lesson, the five deputies in the room gathered to concoct a story to justify the beating. Sergeant Gonzalez, the supervisor, told them to say that Carrillo had one hand free from handcuffs so he could be fingerprinted, when he began swinging wildly with the loose handcuff using it as a weapon, giving the deputies no choice but to beat him within an inch of his life.
That was their story, and they were sticking to it. They repeated the same story to internal affairs, the district attorney’s office and Gabriel’s defense attorney’s during depositions. Eventually, two of the deputies, Zunggeemoge and Womack told the truth. This is why; the injuries to Gabriel’s arms supported that both of his hands were handcuffed.
The feds indicted all five deputies for assault and civil rights violations. Their trials were scheduled to begin in May 2015. Two of the deputies, Zunggeemoge and Womack, decided to strike a deal, agreeing to plead guilty to criminal charges as well as to testify against the other deputies.
Deputy Zunggeemoge said he was annoyed that Gabriel had mouthed off to him, so while Gabriel was handcuffed behind his back, he lifted Gabriel’s arms behind his back “so he could feel some pain.” According to Deputy Zunggeemoge, he left the room to run Gabriel’s name in a criminal database, leaving him in there with other deputies. When he returned, he found deputy Fernando Luviano struggling with Gabriel as Sergeant Eric Gonzalez and deputy Sussie Ayala watched. Zunggeeemoge said he jumped in to help Luviano with Gabriel, bringing Gabriel to the ground and slamming his face against the floor, continuing to beat him even though it was clear the man was handcuffed.
Zunggeeemoge said that Luviano pepper sprayed Gabriel and when Gabriel turned his face to avoid that, Zunggeemoge punched him twice. Another deputy, Neil Womack, entered the room and began beating the handcuffed man, who was facedown on the floor. They then charged Gabriel with felony battery against law enforcement officers.
The Los Angeles Times reports;
“Under the terms of the agreement he signed last week, Deputy Noel Womack gave prosecutors a new version of the violent 2011 encounter in a windowless, secluded room in the Men’s Central Jail facility. Deputies, he said, beat the jail visitor even though the man was handcuffed and not resisting as he was held on the floor, according to a copy of the agreement reviewed by The Times.
Womack has agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge that he lied to FBI agents during an interview last month when he told them he did not know if the visitor was handcuffed, the agreement said. He admitted to lying again when he told the agents his supervisor had ordered him to punch the man and a third time when he said the strikes he inflicted on the man had been necessary, the agreement said.”
In their plea agreement with Womack, prosecutors said Womack’s actions highlight the pressures that deputies put up a united front. “Womack understood that he was never supposed to go against his partners.”
Womack’s agreement bans him from working in law enforcement, and requires him to resign from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. Prosecutors will recommend to the judge that Womack receive no time in prison. The judge could opt to disregard the suggestion and sentence Womack to as many as five years.
The second deputy, Pantamitr Zunggeemoge, entered a guilty plea earlier this year, and his agreement with prosecutors was sealed by U.S. District Court Judge George H. King, keeping the details secret.
That left three deputies, Gonzalez, Ayala and Luviano, who all pleaded not guilty.
On June 17, 2015, Pantamitr Zunggeemoge told jurors the truth. It took the jury less than an hour to reach a verdict. On Wednesday, June 24, 2015, Sgt. Eric Gonzalez and Deputy Sussie Ayala were found guilty of conspiracy to violate constitutional rights, deprivation of rights and falsification of records in the Feb. 26, 2011, beating of Gabriel Carrillo. Deputy Fernando Luviano was found guilty of deprivation of rights and falsification of records. Their sentencing is scheduled for November 2, 2015, with another hearing scheduled for next week to determine whether the deputies should be taken into custody pending their sentencing.
The felony assault charges against Gabriel were dismissed and Gabriel has since been awarded a settlement of over a million dollars.
Jurors were shown the following video.
Posted on 06/25/2015, in Uncategorized and tagged civil rights violations, convicted, Eric Gonzalez, falisfication of records, Fernando Luviano, Gabriel Carrillo, Los Angeles County, Neil Womack, Pantamitr Zunggeemoge, sheriff deputies, Sussie Ayala. Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.