Nine Dead in OC Police Custody This Year! (2006)




Nine dead in OC police custody this year

I have been on vacation this week, and after returning from a brief trip to San Diego I have been catching up on things at home. That is why I am a bit late on the developing story involving the death of Vicky Avila, a 31-year-old La Habra woman who died while in custody at the Orange County Jail in Santa Ana, according to an OC Register article.

What happened to Avila is complicated. She was suffering from mental illness and alcoholism, and was despondent after losing custody of her daughters. She called La Habra police hoping that she might get some mental health treatment. When that did not happen, she slapped one of the officers. That backfired.

Avila was arrested for assaulting an officer and taken off to the OC jail in Santa Ana, where she ended up becoming their fourth fatality this year. When her body was finally turned over to her family, she was covered in bruises. They still don’t know what really happened to her as none of the agencies involved are talking, ostensibly because the OC District Attorney is investigating the matter.

On Tuesday of this week the OC Register opined on the matter in an editorial. They nailed the issue, as follows, “…our county lacks a formal review process of law enforcement. It’s time for the Board of Supervisors to develop an independent oversight commission for police agencies, the sheriff’s department and the jail. And it’s time for the sheriff and La Habra police to tell us what happened to Vicky Avila. In a free society, the actions of law enforcement should not be covered up, but exposed to the light of day.”

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.