Sheriff deputies charged with assault

August 18, 2013

jailThe Santa Barbara County District Attorney filed assault charges against two deputies who work in the jail for allegedly beating an inmate.

On June 17, deputies Robert Kirsch, 30, and Christopher Johnson, 28, allegedly assaulted Charles Alonzo Owens, an inmate being housed at the jail, the statement said. Kirsch’s public defender brought the matter to the attention of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s office on June 19.

District Attorney office investigators looked into the claim and determined an assault and beating had occurred.

“Our agency does not tolerate the unnecessary or excessive use of force,” Sheriff Bill Brown said in a press release.

“The behavior alleged in the criminal complaint is contrary to the high standards of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office,” Brown said. “I am saddened by these allegations that do not reflect the conduct and actions of the vast majority of the hundreds of men and women of the Sheriff’s Office, who dedicate their lives to protecting and serving others.”

Both deputies are on paid administrative leave while the case makes its way through the criminal-justice system.

In 2011, Lompoc Police arrested Owens for the 2007 gang related murder of Michael Spradling.

While in custody, prosecutors also charged Owens with rape, sodomy, domestic battery and witness intimidation against his girlfriend.


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It may be necessary to lower our jail standards to somewhere just above the street standards.

More paid leave until the investigation is complete instead of desk work, cleaning patrol cars, or such and how long will this take, city of SLO takes around a year, nice vacation if you can get it, and you can if you steal from the taxpayers thanks to the public union.

And Owens is still out and about after all the criminal charges against him. The officers should not have beaten him without cause but that being said, I’m glad he’s back behind bars. He is right?

Oh gee…..the beating of a “GANG MEMBER” involved in a murder? What is the problem?

The problem — the MAIN problem — is that if they feel free to do it to him, they will likely feel free to do it to others. He is in jail and paying his debt to society (hopefully for a LONG time). That is supposed to be all that he has to do unless he creates more problems for himself. If that happens, jail rules and the law have provisions for handling it without brutality.

Those who enforce the law are supposed to be better people than criminals. To the extent that they are as weak or malevolent in character as criminals, they are nothing more than legalized gang-bangers themselves. I am pleased whenever I hear of a DA’s office with the moral courage to prosecute such stuff. I wish it happened more often so that we could weed out the bad LEOs and take some pressure to protect these low-lifes off those who aren’t.