LOS ANGELES (CN) – Los Angeles Sheriff’s jail deputies beat a man to death in his cell and then hung him from a bed sheet to try to make it look like a suicide, his widow claims in court.
Avean Edwards sued the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, former Sheriff Lee Baca and Doe deputies on April 7 in Federal Court.
She says her late husband, Earl Lee Johnson, died on Oct. 18, 2014 after deputies at the Men’s Central Jail beat him senseless in his cell on Sept. 27.
On that date, she says, the deputies “for no justified reason and for no lawful justification, physically assaulted and struck decedent in the head multiple times to the point where decedent was unconscious. Sheriff Does then in an effort to cover up the unprovoked and malicious attack hung decedent in his cell with a bed sheet.”
Edwards says her husband was taken to a hospital, where he died 22 days later, after “extreme physical pain and suffering.”
She filed a claim for damages on Dec. 3, 2014, and the county denied it on Jan. 20.
She claims the defendants “intentionally conspired to conceal, and did conceal” the facts.
She seeks punitive damages for civil rights violations, her husband’s pain and suffering and her own, loss of consortium and emotional distress.
She is represented by James Orland, of Manhattan Beach.