Media Release: Civilian Oversight panel condemns the use of East L.A. Sheriff station's Fort Apache insignia

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Media Release

July 23, 2019

Civilian Oversight panel condemns the use of East L.A. Sheriff station's Fort Apache insignia

Los Angeles – The Civilian Oversight Commission for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department today hosted its monthly Commission meeting. Several topics were covered including:

  • Resolution to remove "Fort Apache" Insignia from the East L.A. Sheriff's Station
  • Election of Commission leadership
  • Status of active settlement agreements involving L.A. County jails

Fort Apache Insignia at the East L.A. Sheriff's Station

The Commission unanimously voted to support a Resolution that condemns the use of the Fort Apache seal by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department personnel. It also calls for the immediate removal of the seal from all areas of the East L.A. Sheriff Station and the Sheriff’s Department as a whole.

The resolution outlines:

  • The Fort Apache seal was created as a negative critique of former Sheriff Pitchess’ order that East L.A. sheriff station deputies refrain from using force against anti-Vietnam War protestors during the 1970 Chicano Moratorium in a purported effort to de-escalate a tense situation;
  • The Fort Apache seal portrays riot gear and mottos that may suggest the sheriff station is a lone outpost where deputies are at war with local communities;
  • Former Sheriff McDonnell banned the seal in 2016 to address concerns about the divisive impact of the seal and to correct misimpressions about the East L.A. sheriff station;
  • Countless members of the community find the Fort Apache seal offensive and culturally insensitive and it serves as a reminder of the tension between the community and the East L.A. sheriff station;
  • Sheriff Villanueva reignited controversy in 2019 by reinstating the seal in the East L.A. sheriff station.

View the full Resolution here.

Fort Apache logo

The Fort Apache logo on the back door of the East L.A. Sheriff’s Station. Photo credit: Frank Stoltze/LAist

Commission Leadership

The Commission unanimous voted to re-elected Patti Giggans to serve another term as chair and to approve Lael Rubin as vice-chair. The Commission expressed appreciation to Priscilla Ocen, who has served as vice-chair for the last year.

L.A. County Jails

Steve Edwards and Amie Park from L.A. County Counsel presented on status of active settlement agreements involving mental health services, suicide prevention, and the use of force in the County jails. Richard Drooyan, a court-appointed federal monitor for L.A. County jail reforms responded to additional questions.

“It’s important for the public to know how the department is doing," Drooyan stated. "I think the department does take that very seriously and they want these numbers to improve."

To check out the presentation, click here.

Federal Monitor Chart

L.A. County Jails United States v. County of L.A. (“DOJ Agreement”) Rosas v. L.A. County Sheriff (“Rosas Agreement”)

Audio Recording

To listen to the full meeting, click here.

Media Contact:

Jennifer Osborn, Community Information Officer
Office: (213) 253-5678
Cell: (213) 952-9036


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