Investigation Into Beating Of Mentally Disabled Man By Deputies - New York News

Investigation Into Beating Of Mentally Disabled Man By Deputies

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 COMPTON (CNS) - The Compton chapter of the NAACP called today for a federal investigation into the July 14 beating by sheriff's deputies of a mentally disabled man at a city park, a beating that the civil rights organization claims left the man with permanent injuries. Barry Montgomery suffered facial fractures -- including a fractured eye socket -- and seven broken ribs, along with other injuries, according to Paulette Simpson-Gipson, president of the Compton branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

"Barry Montgomery, a 29-year-old mentally disabled man, was harassed and then beaten for 25 minutes by L.A. sheriff officers while he was handcuffed ... causing massive permanent injuries," Simpson-Gipson said.

"We see no justification for the brutality inflicted to Mr. Barry Montgomery," Simpson-Gipson said. "The Compton NAACP is calling for a fast- track investigation by the Justice Department into the beating of Montgomery. The beating is a clear violation of his civil rights."

The confrontation is being investigated by the sheriff's Internal Affairs Bureau, sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said. "The sheriff's department takes all allegations seriously, and will investigate them appropriately," Nishida said.

About 9:25 p.m. July 14, deputies confronted Montgomery in Enterprise Park, in the 13000 block of Clovis Avenue, after smelling what they believed to be the odor of marijuana in the immediate area of the bench where he was sitting, according to sheriff's Capt. Britta Steinbrenner. While he was in the process of being detained, Montgomery became "verbally confrontational and subsequently attempted to punch one of the deputies," Steinbrenner said.

During the struggle, he sustained several injuries and was taken to a hospital, Steinbrenner said. After Montgomery was treated at the hospital, he was booked at the sheriff's Compton Station on suspicion of obstructing/resisting an executive officer, a felony, and a misdemeanor offense of marijuana possession. He was released on July 17 after posting bond, Steinbrenner said. One deputy also suffered undisclosed injuries during the confrontation and received medical treatment, Steinbrenner said. The department also was investigating how many deputies were involved in the arrest, and whether any shots were fired, Steinbrenner said. Montgomery's sister, Ty Montgomery, told NBC4 that her brother is a paranoid schizophrenic who doesn't always respond when he is spoken to. He lives in his parents' home a few blocks from Enterprise Park, and walks there, bringing his own basketball.

"By him being schizophrenic and ignoring the officers, I guess they thought he was ignoring them on purpose," Ty Montgomery said. "But ... its not on purpose. He doesn't communicate. He's a paranoid schizophrenic, he just walks up the street. Walk back, play ball."

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