May 25, 2022 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Gay Man files federal civil rights suit against LA Sheriff

Anthony Oliver, provided by Anthony Oliver
Anthony Oliver, provided by Anthony Oliver

BY TROY MASTERS  |  gay Los Angeles County man says that after his March 2015 arrest he was held in a small closet with several other inmates and no seating.  He claims he was told it was for his “own protection” but was called a “fucking faggot” by a deputy who assaulted him when he asked for a chair.

Anthony Oliver, 33, filed a federal civil rights complaint on December 17, 2015 in which he claims straight inmates are placed in larger cells with a private toilet, a TV, phone and reading material.

Los Angeles County jails and court detainees who are LGBT are placed in a separate facility called “K6G.”Oliver is gay, disabled and wears a back brace.

“In the Metro traffic courthouse, ‘K6G’ inmates are treated far worse than that of general population,” Oliver says in his complaint. “At the time plaintiff was taken to court in 2015, plaintiff was housed, like other LGBT inmates, in a small room with one stool, the size of a mop closet, awaiting his court appearance. The room was formerly an attorney-client meeting room with only one stool, and was converted for use by the LA County Sheriff’s Department for LGBT inmates at the time of the incident.

“Plaintiff is informed and believes that in some of the court lock-ups in the Los Angeles County Superior Courts, ‘K6G’ inmates are kept, instead of cells, in ‘utility rooms’ or ‘mop closets’ that are separate from the holding cells that are designed to accommodate non-LGBT inmates awaiting court appearances,” Oliver’s complaint continues.

“There is no reason for housing ‘K6G’ inmates in non-cell facilities, as opposed to having a segregated cell or holding tank where they can be housed awaiting court,” the complaint maintains.

“Among other things, ‘K6G’ inmates endure substantially worse conditions of confinement simply because they are LGBT persons and members of the gay community, or are transgender and have a different sexual identity. The conditions and treatment the ‘K6G’ inmates are subjected to in the court lock-ups should not be tolerated. LGBT inmates are being discriminated against intentionally based on their status as a result of this custody arrangement.

“Although the county and department owe a duty to protect LGBT inmates from harm by providing protection, that does not allow LGBT persons to be subjected to worse conditions of incarceration,” says Oliver in the complaint.

In addition to being placed in the ‘mop closet,’ Oliver says he was treated harshly and physically so by one of the guards while waiting to make his court appearance.

Oliver claims he was recovering from back surgery and in a back brace when he was arrested. He was placed in the closet sized room with two other men and because there was only one stool, he requested a chair from guards. He says one guard called him a “fucking faggot” before lifting him off the ground, slamming him against the wall and placing him back in the cell.

Oliver says other deputies witnessed the assault but did nothing. When he complained to a supervisor he was threatened and warned not to report the assault, according to the complaint.

Oliver says the assault caused further damage to his back, requiring surgery.

Anthony Oliver's back.

The sheriff’s department is aware of the “brutal, unconstitutional practices” inflicted on LGBT  inmates at detention facilities but has failed to curb the problem, the complaint says.

maxresdefault
Sheriff Jim McDonnell

Los Angeles County treats “LGBT people much different than any other inmates in violation of their equal protection rights under the law,” according to the complaint.

Oliver’s suit also names Sheriff Jim McDonnell; Court Services Bureau commander Kevin Goran; watch commander Jeff Adams; and deputies Isaias Marin, Jr, Don Manumaleuna, Michael Kassabian, Nancy Aleman, Gerald Denson, Steven Kale and R. Alvarez as defendants.

The lawsuit includes claims for civil rights violations, supervisorial liability, an Americans with Disabilities Act claim and assault and battery. Oliver seeks general, compensatory and statutory damages, as well as punitive damages against individual defendants.

UCLA’s Williams Institute highlighted a 2013 article published by Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology that claims the Compared to life in the general population, K6G inmates live relatively free of sexual assault and are free to express their personal identity and sense of self in a way that is psychologically healthier than the typical prison experience.

Oliver is represented by David McLane of Kaye, McLane, Bednarski, & Litt in Pasadena, California.

In 2014, McLane and the American Civil Liberties Union represented 15 gay, bisexual and transgender inmates at a San Bernardino County jail, in a class action claiming the county routinely subjected LGBT inmates to harsh treatment.

in NEWS
Related Posts

Venice Pride Festival and Parade Around the Corner

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Live music, DJ sets, Sunday parade and more come to Venice Beach Recreation Center June 4 & 5  By Staff...

Trans Fans Praise Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Auntie Diaries’ Track

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

By Susan Payne “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,” by Kendrick Lamar wrestles big issues, but his track “Auntie Diaries”...

LGBTQ Center Long Beach to Host Final Do Say Gay Workshop Friday

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

By Susan Payne Join LGBTQ Center Long Beach this Friday for its final Do Say Gay art workshop that explores...

California Trans Child Molester Faces New Kern County Murder Charge

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

By Susan Payne After authorities recently charged Hannah Tubbs in connection to a 2019 robbery, the convicted 26-year-old trans child...

Happening Now: West Hollywood’s LGBTQ+ Arts Festival

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

By Susan Payne Happening now through the end of June, WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival celebrates the artistic contributions of...

Alcohol a Factor in Griffith Park fatal Hit and Run of Senior Gay Cyclist

May 13, 2022

May 13, 2022

77-year-old Andrew Jelmert killed in April 23 hit and run training for AIDS/Lifecycle By Susan Payne The Los Angeles Police...

Kaiser Permanente Hospitals Receive LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader Designation

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

Kaiser Permanente’s 15 hospitals recognized by Humans Rights Campaign  By Susan Payne This year, Kaiser Permanente’s 15 hospitals in southern...

‘Match the Stars’ During MisMatch Game Performance Benefitting the LGBT Center

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

By Susan Payne An unstoppable comedy phenomenon is set to reach a $200,000 goal in money raised for the Los...

Confidential Settlement Made With Many LGBTQ Students at USC Over Alleged Doctor Misconduct

May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022

More than 80 former patients accuse Dr. Dennis Kel of sexual battery, harassment and inappropriate remarks By Susan Payne In...

Audio Meets Reality in ‘Being Trans’ Podcast Series Showcasing the Lives of Four Transgender Individuals of the LA Area

May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022

Through narrative-style storytelling, BEING Studios gives listeners an intimate, first-person access into the worlds of people they may not otherwise...

Orange County Man Faces Federal Charge on Suspicion of Making Anti-LGBT Threats Against Merriam-Webster

April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022

Jeremy Hanson of Rossmore charged in connection to October threats  By Susan Payne  An Orange County man faces a federal...

Palm Springs Approves Universal Income Pilot Program for Transgender, Nonbinary Residents

April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022

Payments to start in 2023 By Susan Payne A guaranteed income pilot program that would provide transgender and nonbinary residents...

Nobel Laureate and Education Activist Malala Yousafzai to Speak in Beverly Hills

April 28, 2022

April 28, 2022

May 15, 2022 at Saban Theatre Malala Yousafzai, the youngest-ever Nobel recipient and activist for education and equality is coming...

Compton Man Arrested for Allegedly Targeting, Robbing 20+ Gay Men He Met on Grindr

April 24, 2022

April 24, 2022

By Susan Payne Authorities have announced the arrest of a Compton man who allegedly targeted and robbed more than 20...