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Home / Blogs / Last Blog on Earth
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Wednesday, Nov 09, 2011 - Last Blog on Earth | News

Sheriff promises review of Occupy San Diego arrests

Statement acknowledges arrestees had to relieve themselves while in transport

By Dave Maass
occupy
- Photo by Dave Maass
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has ordered a formal internal review of its involvement in the mass arrest of 51 Occupy San Diego activists on Oct. 28, particularly in regards to detainees who had no choice but to urinate and defecate while detained in county buses and vans.

In this week's print edition, I report on Occupy San Diego protesters who allege they were mistreated while in the Sheriff's custody. In a statement provided to CityBeat after our print deadline, the Sheriff's Department acknowledges the veracity of some of the complaints, calling them "unusual" and "unfortunate." The statement also explains that the sheriff plans to conduct a critical incident review and hold a debriefing with the San Diego Police Department about the operation.

The statement follows:

On October 28th between  2 a.m. and 6 a.m. the Sheriff’s department provided a bus and two vans for prisoners arrested at the Civic Center by the San Diego Police Department. During that time 51 individuals were taken into custody, 36 men and 14 women. The men were placed in a Sheriff’s bus and the women were put in Sheriff’s vans to be transported to the Vista Jail and Los Colinas Detention Facility for booking.

During that time there were no restroom facilities available for arrestees, forcing some of them to relieve themselves as they sat on the bus or van. For the Sheriff’s Department to provide mutual aid in this kind of mass arrest circumstance is not unusual; this unfortunate result is very unusual and it is currently being reviewed. The Sheriff has directed that a Critical Incident Review be conducted internally. Also, the Sheriff’s Department and the Police Department will conduct a mutual debrief to examine in detail how the operation was handled. From those reviews we will determine how to improve our practices to assure that this does not happen again.

For anyone who wishes to file a formal complaint, here are their options: First, they can file a complaint with our Internal Affairs office. Complaint forms can be obtained any Sheriff’s facility or on-line at http://www.sdsheriff.net/contact_complaints.html. Second, they may file a complaint with the County Citizens Independent Review Board. Complaint forms may be obtained on line at the same website. Or they may do both. Whether they complain or not, the matter is being carefully and critically reviewed and treated seriously. The men and women of this Department take pride in acting with the highest level of professionalism and treating those in their charge with respect.
 
 
 
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