The United States Constitution prevents law enforcement officers from using excessive force during detentions, arrests, and everywhere in between. However, in September 2023, Juan Anthony Carrillo, a 45-year-old officer with the Veterans Affairs Police Department (VAPD), was indicted on civil rights and assault charges. He is currently awaiting his arraignment in the U.S. District Court in downtown L.A. If found guilty, he faces a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison for each offense.
Civil Rights & Assault Charges
Allegedly, in January of 2022, a VAPD officer detained a 34-year-old victim named R.V. on the grounds of the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. Carrillo arrived to assist the other officer and then supposedly hit R.V. with a VAPD-issued baton up to 45 times while the other officer was on top of the victim. Both Carrillo and the other officer were significantly heavier than the victim.
According to the indictment, Carrillo purportedly filed a misleading VAPD incident report to justify his use of force by claiming that the victim violently kicked his legs and refused to show his hands. Carrillo has officially been charged with two counts: one count of deprivation of rights under color of law resulting in bodily injury and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon with the intent to do bodily harm.
How an Experienced Attorney Can Help
It is important to remember that indictments are not sentences. Until a defendant is found guilty, they are supposed to be presumed innocent. However, when charges are reported, or the media finds out, it can cause serious consequences for a defendant's career or personal life. As such, working with an experienced attorney from the moment you are arrested is the best way to ensure you do not fall victim to the rumor mill.
If you or someone you know is a law enforcement officer accused of depriving a victim of their rights, Attorney Vitaly Sigal of Sigal Law Group can help. Call 818-325-0571 today or schedule a free consultation online.