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Los Angeles deputies break ranks to admit beating of jail visitor

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Two Los Angeles county sheriff’s deputies who are accused with three colleagues over the beating of a jail visitor have broken ranks on the eve of a trial and pleaded guilty.

Noel Womack and Pantamitr Zunggeemoge struck a deal with prosecutors which could see them testifying against their former colleagues, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday, citing court filings.

Womack ended years of denials by admitting deputies brutalised a visitor, Gabriel Carillo, who was handcuffed and held to the floor in a room at the sheriff’s department’s main jail facility in February 2011.

Federal authorities have investigated reports of several similar incidents in 2010 and 2011. Deputies allegedly beat visitors in a windowless, secluded room and then wrote reports falsely claiming the victims had instigated violence.

Womack agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge that he lied to FBI agents when he said he did not know if Carillo, who was visiting his brother, was handcuffed.

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Zunggeemoge entered a guilty plea earlier this year, court records show, according to the Times. The agreement between prosecutors and Zunggeemoge, who had faced allegations of abuse and dishonesty, was sealed by a judge, keeping details secret.

The trial of the five deputies is due to begin on 16 June. The plea agreements mark the first time in two decades that a sheriff’s deputy has been convicted in federal court of crimes related to excessive force.

Prosecutors have portrayed Sergeant Eric Gonzalez as a ringleader who fostered abusive behaviour. Gonzalez and the other accused deputies, Sussie Ayala and Fernando Luviano, have pleaded not guilty.

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guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015


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Fox News cuts into Trump’s Turning Point USA speech after he starts rambling about handshakes

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Fox News on Tuesday briefly interrupted a speech being delivered by President Donald Trump at a Turning Point USA summit.

During his speech, Trump started talking about delivering a commencement address at the Air Force Academy.

"They said, sir, would you like to shake the hands of all the cadets? I said how many other? They said 1,100. I said yeah, that sounds okay,” Trump remarked.

“Do other presidents do it? Yes, they do. Do all of them? What they didn’t say is they start, then they peter out. That sun was beaming down, and if some of these guys are great athletes — some of the women, they had some women in the class, their hands were very strong, okay.”

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Hundreds of orgs, political and religious leaders demand Pompeo abolish his anti-LGBTQ ‘Commission on Unalienable Rights’

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'Harmful to the Global Effort to Protect the Rights of All People and a Waste of Resources'

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday was sent letters signed by hundreds of human rights organizations, activists, and supporters, along with religious and political leaders demanding he abolish his newly-formed anti-LGBTQ and anti-women "Commission on Unalienable Rights."

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Meghan McCain gets schooled after complaining Brett Kavanaugh was treated worse than Al Franken

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Meghan McCain noticed the asymmetry in the accusations of sexual misconduct against Al Franken and Brett Kavanaugh, even if she overlooked how those allegations eventually played out.

"The View" tackled a New Yorker piece published by Jane Mayer, who believes the Minnesota Democrat was "railroaded" out of the U.S. Senate over sexual harassment claims, and McCain said Democrats had no choice but to force him to resign.

"Imagine him questioning Brett Kavanaugh at the time," McCain said, "which by the way, the writer who wrote this article, Jane Mayer, wrote a 2018 piece about allegations of Brett Kavanaugh that's been panned because the only corroborating witness said he had heard the story but he didn't remember it now, so it's very tricky."

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