The civilian oversight board investigating allegations of sheriff’s department misconduct has found credible a series of complaints by a transgender woman who was severely beaten after being placed in a cell with three men at San Francisco Central Jail. Diego.

The county’s Citizens Law Enforcement Review Commission also recommends that department policies be revised to require deputies to book people they arrest in jails that match their gender identity.

“The assault and injuries were the result of a systemic failure on the part of (the sheriff’s department) exemplified by insufficient policies and procedures, a lack of sensible and appropriate communication between many staff members and no foresight. apparent on the part of several employees as to the ramifications of placing a transgender woman in a cell with three cisgender men,” the review board investigators found.

“The evidence supports the allegation, and the act or conduct was not justified,” they concluded.

The findings, released last Friday following the Volunteer Council meeting on Tuesday evening, reflect a sharp turnaround from last month. According to June records, the 10 complaints listed in the Frost case were either dismissed, dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, or found to be justified by the deputy’s actions.

Kristina Frost was arrested in November 2020, wearing women’s clothing and carrying a California driver’s license identifying her as female, and was placed in a Central Jail holding cell with three men.

One of those men beat her severely, breaking her jaw, and deputies did not immediately respond, she says in her federal lawsuit.

“His closed punches to the face of Ms. Frost resulted in serious bodily injury, including a broken jaw that has so far required two surgeries to repair,” the lawsuit says, which also names Deputy Mason Cassidy as accused.

County Council Office attorneys are defending the Sheriff’s Department and Cassidy in the civil litigation.

The sheriff’s department said it has updated its training manual and a policy since Frost’s attack. The manual now reads: “An arrested person must be taken to a facility that matches the gender identity of the arrested person.”

The review board recommends a further update to the handbook to clarify that “a person arrested must be taken”, rather than “should be taken”, to a prison that houses people of their gender. The recommendations of the citizens’ panel are not bound to be implemented.

The Sheriff’s current LGBTQ policy states, “Once the initial (admission) assessment is completed, the individual will be separated from other incarcerated individuals for their safety during the admissions process.”

Last year, the sheriff’s spokeswoman, Lt. Amber Baggs, said Frost refused to press charges against the man she said attacked her, and that the man told authorities that he had not launched the attack. Frost’s suit said she was sleeping and he woke up beating her.

In total, the review board upheld five of 13 separate misconduct and discrimination complaints filed by Frost, who was arrested on what her lawsuit considers a minor offense.

Four complaints were found to be justified, meaning the MPs’ actions were found to be justified and legal, and three were not upheld, meaning the council did not find sufficient evidence to prove or disprove the claims. underlying allegations. A complaint was dismissed because it concerned the prison’s medical staff, who fall outside the jurisdiction of the council.

Review board investigators first sent their findings to the volunteer panel last month, when 10 complaints were investigated but none were upheld. This initial report revealed that five of the complaints were justified. Four others were not supported and one was fired for causing concern to medical staff.

All of those findings were removed from the June agenda after Frost’s attorney, Brody McBride, raised concerns during public comments about the council’s effectiveness.

“This, I think, is the last straw for me,” he said. “I don’t see the point of CLERB here. It’s actually doing a disservice because it gives the sheriff’s department an air of oversight that doesn’t exist.

“This organization must be disbanded,” he added. “Our taxes are better spent elsewhere.”

Paul Parker, chief executive of the review panel, said the oversight panel had raised concerns about the recommended findings submitted in June and the case had been continued to allow time for further review.

Parker said he spent two days re-examining the Frost case and decided to present the revised findings to the board, including the five persistent examples of misconduct and discrimination.

Frost’s trial remains pending in federal court in San Diego. No trial date has yet been set.


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