The Wave: County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas backs community forum on jail oversight

Via: The Wave Newspapers

County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas attended a town hall meeting in South L.A. Thursday night, lending his full support behind calls for civilian oversight of the Los Angeles County jail system. Ridley-Thomas was the keynote speaker at a community forum organized by the Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in L.A. Jails, which took place at the YMCA, 1006 E. 28th St.

It featured emotional testimony of the alleged brutality of sheriff’s deputies, performance art that visualized some of those accounts and seminar discussions of alternative methods of law enforcement and punishment.

Speakers included Ridley-Thomas, coalition founder Patrisse Cullors-Brignac, civil rights attorney Samuel Paz, a mother of a current inmate and Jermond Davis, a former prisoner.

“You cannot have accountability without oversight of police officers and the sheriff’s department cannot police itself,” said Ridley-Thomas, who told the audience he is trying to persuade two of his colleagues to back implementation of a civilian commission. “In the meantime, the coalition needs to raise awareness and not back down.”

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