Santa Clara Co. jail inmate claims abuse,beatings at hands of deputies

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Julian Vasques-Bernabe is the latest former Santa Clara County main jail inmate who says correctional deputies threatened and beat him.

Julian Vasques-Bernabe is the latest former Santa Clara County main jail inmate who says correctional deputies threatened and beat him. Medical records show the latest alleged beating victim at the jail suffered a head injury and cuts to his head and nose, which he says came at the hand of correctional deputies.

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His attorney Robert Powell has filed a lawsuit against Santa Clara County and correctional deputies Emmanuel Thomas and Eddie Barrera as well as Correctional Sergeant Andrew Aguilar.
Powell says he's working on obtaining photos of his client's injuries.

"At least we have some significant amount of evidence that supports my client's version of events," he said.

The lawsuit alleges correctional deputies told Vasques-Bernabe that if he didn't admit to and sign an infraction, which he says he didn't commit, the deputies would shake down housing where Norteno gang members stay and tell them it was because of information Vasques-Bernabe shared.

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"It makes it unsafe. I have to live in that pod with those people," said Vasquez-Bernabe.

During a second alleged incident Vasquez-Bernabe says deputies beat him bloody, unprovoked in an interview room.

"The laceration on my forehead came from getting kicked my head hit the cement and it split open," he said.

"I'm just glad my son is alive," said Juanita Vasquez, his mom.

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson with the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said, "We take all claims of improper conduct seriously and have had ongoing investigations into the allegations in Mr. Vasquez's complaint."

Santa Clara County correctional deputies have also been accused in the beating death of inmate Michael Tyree and the beating of inmate Ruben Garcia, who had a broken jaw.

Those beatings prompted the county executive to introduce a motion at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting to create an independent medical examiner's office position that does not fall under the sheriff's office.

A motion the county's assistant medical examiner testified she supports to eliminate what she says is a conflict of interest.

"It's the perception that there might be potential law enforcement influence whether it's direct or indirect," said Dr. Michelle Jorden, the Assistant Medical Examiner.

The motion was moved to committee. A sheriff's office spokesperson says the allegations of a conflict of interest are without merit.

Related Topics:
jailfightsanta clara countyinvestigationsocietybeatingviolencecivil rightsdiscriminationpolice brutalitysheriffnortenos gangSanta Clara
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