LASD Commander James Hellmold was present at the press conference and answered reporters' questions afterward. (Interestingly, Hellmold admitted he'd not been invited by the ACLU to the Press Conference, but saw a PR release announcing its existence, and simply decided he'd show up, like the rest of us, to find out what was being said.
We, in the press, of course, were delighted that he
chose to do so.)
In response to inquiries about the alleged beatings, Hellmold
said that he
"hoped deputies would be given the same courtesy given the inmates, of being considered innocent until proven guilty."
is one of the three recently promoted commanders who are heading up the Sheriff's special task force that was formed last fall to look into the accusations of inmate abuse by deputies. (As we have reported in the past, Hellmold
is also part of Undersheriff Paul Tanaka's inner circle, and a longtime donor to Tanaka's political campaign outside the department.
Oh, and Hellmold
was one of those who told the LA Times
back in October that reports on jail violence never reached the Sheriff.