LOS ANGELES – A former deputy with Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department was convicted today on federal charges of lying to the FBI about the beating of handcuffed man at the Men’s Central Jail in 2011.
Byron Dredd, 36, was found guilty of making false statements to the FBI, a federal felony offense that carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
Dredd and five other deputies who were previously convicted and sentenced in relation to the beating were assigned to the Visiting Center at Men’s Central Jail. On February 26, 2011, the victim went to the jail to visit his brother, who was in custody in the jail. Deputies handcuffed the victim and brought him to an employee break room because they suspected he had a cell phone on him. Deputies then beat the victim, who remained defenseless with his arms handcuffed behind his back the entire time. Dredd witnessed the beating from an adjacent room through a metal window. As a result of false reports authored by Dredd and other deputies, the victim was charged with several crimes, including resisting an officer and battery.
Dredd was convicted today of lying to the FBI during an interview on July 17, 2012. Dredd falsely told the FBI that the victim was the aggressor, and that he saw the victim swing at a deputy, tried to push past a deputy in an attempt to escape, and that he saw the victim punch a deputy in the chest. Those statements were lies because the victim remained handcuffed during the entire beating.
“All law enforcement officers will be held accountable for abusing their positions – whether that includes the illegal use of force or lying to cover up a civil rights violation,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna. “This former deputy actively tried to conceal the illegal actions of his fellow deputies, and today a jury held him accountable for his role in the cover-up of an unjustified beating.”
“The defendant deceived investigators who were investigating very serious crimes, including civil rights abuses and an attempted cover-up,” said Paul Delacourt, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “The FBI will continue to hold accountable those who cover up crimes involving civil rights abuses and malfeasance by public officials inside and outside prison walls.”
Dredd is scheduled to be sentenced in this case on May 20 by United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer.
In a previous trial in 2016, a jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict against Dredd on the false statements. At that trial, Dredd was also acquitted of conspiring to violate the victim’s civil rights and obstructing a federal investigation.
Previously in this investigation, five deputies who participated in the beating and cover-up were convicted and sentenced to prison, including former Sergeant Eric Gonzalez who is serving an eight-year prison term after being found guilty of violating the victim’s civil rights and falsifying reports.
This case is the result of an investigation by the FBI, and is the last in a series of cases resulting from an investigation into corruption and civil rights abuses at county jail facilities in downtown Los Angeles. As a result of the investigation, 22 members of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department have now been convicted of federal charges.
The case against Dredd is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Veronica Dragalin and Agustin D. Orozco of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section.